Posted by africanpress on October 14, 2008
Kigali (Rwanda) - The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) has come out to strongly condemn the deteriorating security situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, terming it a major setback to the regional peace process.
A statement from the ICGLR Secretariat says that the renewed fighting in the Eastern part of the DRC in North Kivu Province between the National Congress for People�s Defense (CNDP) and the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) has aggravated the fragile situation in the Eastern Part of the Country.
According to the statement, this has undermined the various regional and international initiatives aimed at searching for a durable solution to protracted problems of instability posed by the continued presence of armed groups in Eastern DRC.�
�The ICGLR firmly condemns the renewed violence, which has caused massive displacement of innocent civilian populations and created a fresh humanitarian crisis,� says Amb. Liberata Mulamula, the ICGLR Executive Secretary.
The body made up of Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and the DRC among other states has also raised concerns over the continued recruitment of child soldiers by armed groups in the DRC as well as increased acts of rape of women and young girls perpetrated by the rebels.
The ICGRL has also called upon states which signed the L�Acte d�Engagement in January 2008 during the Goma Peace Conference to show commitment and act fast towards eliminating conflict and also support the AMANI regional framework on peace which looks for viable solutions towards conflict resolution in the Great Lakes Region.
In a related development, the ICGLR has also condemned the renewed activities of the Lord�s Resistance Army (LRA) rebel group led by Joseph Kony, which has reportedly attacked the Oriental Province and parts of Southern Sudan, killing scores of people and kidnapping 19 others, at a time when peace was thought to be returning in Northern Uganda and a peace agreement in the offing. Recent reports show that Kony has resumed attacks on civilians from their northern DRC haven of Garamba, making thousands flee their homes.
�We re-affirm our determination to work closely with all national, regional and international players in the search for a sustainable solution to the problem of instability in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo,� concludes the statement.���
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