Communique of the Third Meeting of the Guarantors of the Peace, Security and Cooperation (PSC) Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region

1. The representatives of the Guarantors of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the region (PSC Framework) held their third meeting in Addis, Ethiopia, on 27 January 2017, on the margins of the African Union (AU) Summit. The meeting was chaired by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Angola, Hon. Mr. Georges Chikoti, representing the Chair of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and Chair of the Regional Oversight Mechanism (ROM), H. E. President Joseacute; Eduardo Dos Santos. It was attended by Mr. Saiuml;d Djinnit, the United Nations Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region; Amb. Zachary Muburi-Muita, ICGLR Executive Secretary; Dr. Stergomena Tax, Southern African Development Community (SADC) Executive Secretary; Mr. Maman Sidikou, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in the DRC and Head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO); Amb. Abdou Abarry, Special Representative and Head of the AU Office in the DRC, representing AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Amb. Smaiuml;l Chergui. Other senior officials from the Guarantors’ institutions also attended the meeting.

2. Participants reviewed recent developments in the region and discussed efforts to address instability in eastern DRC, including support to the neutralization of armed groups. They also discussed dialogue processes in the DRC and Burundi.

3. The Guarantors expressed concern on the continuous activities by negative forces in eastern DRC, in particular, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), and the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDRL). They reiterated the commitments of their respective organizations to tackle the threat posed by these negative forces, in line with the decisions of the Sixth Ordinary Summit of the ICGLR and the Seventh High-Level Meeting of the Regional Oversight Mechanism of the PSC Framework held in Luanda, Angola, on 14 June and 26 October respectively, as well as other relevant decisions of the ICGLR, SADC, AU and the UN. In particular, the meeting:

bull; Urged the Chiefs of Defense Staff/Forces of ICGLR and SADC countries to carry out a field mission to the affected areas in eastern DRC, including the camps hosting ex-combatants as recommended by the meeting of Ministers of Defense of ICGLR and SADC held in Nairobi on 20 July 2016 and to engage MONUSCO Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) and DRC officials in order to make appropriate recommendations to further strengthen operations to fully neutralize persisting negative forces.

bull; Encouraged the Office of the Special Envoy and the ICGLR Secretariat to pursue their ongoing efforts towards convening a dedicated meeting on the issue of natural resources aimed at undercutting the lifelines of negative forces.

bull; Welcomed ongoing efforts by the ICGLR to establish the Joint Follow-up Mechanism (JFM) comprising the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania to address the growing menace posed by ADF including recruitment drive in the wider region, and noted the advanced plans towards the operationalization of this mechanism.

bull; Further welcomed ongoing efforts to accelerate the disarmament, demobilization, reintegration, repatriation and resettlement of disarmed combatants in Eastern DRC and the region.

4. The Guarantors also expressed concern about recent reports concerning an incursion of ex-M23 elements into the DRC. In this regard, they:

bull; Welcomed the efforts by UN Special Envoy Saiuml;d Djinnit and UN Special Representative for the DRC Maman Sidikou, aimed at addressing the issue;

bull; Called on all the concerned parties to remain committed to the full implementation of the Nairobi Declarations and to refrain from any action that could jeopardize its implementation.

bull; Encouraged the representatives of the Guarantors to resume joint consultations between the Government of the DRC and the ex-M23 on the implementation of the Nairobi Declarations and called upon the concerned parties to cooperate with the initiative.

5. The Guarantors meeting acknowledged the concerns of the Government of the DRC concerning the prolonged presence of elements of the Sudan People#39;s Liberation Movement/Army-in-Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) on its territory. It was briefed by Special Envoy Djinnit and Special Representative Sidikou on their recent engagements in DRC with regional stakeholders on durable solutions for SPLM/A-IO elements currently accommodated in MONUSCO premises in Eastern DRC. In this regard, the meeting:

bull; Encouraged the representatives of the Guarantors, building on initial contacts made by the UN envoys, to take steps towards assisting in efforts to relocate these elements from the DRC as soon as possible, in line with the decision of the Seventh High-Level Meeting of the Regional Oversight Mechanism, held in Luanda on 26 October 2016, including through the convening of a stakeholders meeting.

6. The Guarantors welcomed the signature of the 31 December 2016 Political Agreement which built on the 18 October 2016 Global Political Agreement, and expressed appreciation for the facilitation efforts undertaken by the Conference Episcopale Nationale du Congo (CENCO). They:

bull; Welcomed and expressed support for the consensus reached by the parties on the composition of the National Unity Government and the Conseil National de Suivi de l’Accord.

bull; Called on all parties, in good faith, to continue to cooperate with the CENCO facilitation with a view to expediting ongoing discussions on the arrangements particuliersrdquo; of the Political Agreement in order to start the implementation process in earnest, and pave the way for peaceful and credible elections in the DRC, in accordance with relevant decisions of the UN, the AU, ICGLR and SADC.

bull; Pledged their readiness to support the parties in the DRC dialogue at this critical juncture for the DRC, particularly during the implementation process.

7. They took note of recent developments regarding the situation in Burundi and reiterated their full support to the East African Community (EAC) facilitation led by former President of Tanzania, H.E. Benjamin Mkapa. They called upon all parties to desist from violence and to respect the human and civil rights of all Burundians, and to collaborate with the EAC Facilitator with a view to accelerating the conclusion of the dialogue process.

Source: United Nations (UN).