Tag: Kepuhi

UN official reports improved relations among African Great Lakes countries

Video of Security Council meeting [2hrs 49mins] Relations between the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and its neighbours are improving, while the disarmament, demobilization and resettlement of fighters from Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi have proceeded faster than expected, a senior United Nations official said today.Introducing Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s report on the progress being made on Security Council recommendations on Central Africa, Under-Secretary Tuliameni Kalomoh said, “Advances achieved in the peace processes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi over the past six months have created a new momentum in favour of the convening of an international conference of the Great Lakes region.”The conference aims to hammer out policies that ensure that the region can safeguard peace, security, democracy and development.The national coordinators of the core countries have held three meetings to discuss the objectives, themes and structure of the conference, Mr. Kalomoh told the Council, and the outline of the conference has begun to take shape. The first summit is scheduled to be held in November 2004 in Tanzania.The core countries of the Great Lakes Conference are Burundi, the DRC, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.A United Nations multidisciplinary reconnaissance mission arrived in Burundi today to assess how the Transitional Government could best be supported to ensure the successful conclusion of the peace process, he said.On the question of funding for reconstruction of the war-ravaged countries, he said pledging conferences had raised $1 billion for Burundi and $3.9 billion for the DRC for the 2004-2006 period.Participants in the debate that followed hailed the reported positive developments but cautioned that the Great Lakes region remains volatile. A number of speakers warned of ongoing violence and rights abuses in the DRC as well as instability in Burundi. They backed the call for aid to the region while stressing that an international conference must produce concrete results. read more