16 January 2014
President Zuma returns from working visit to Angola
President Jacob Zuma last night, 15 January 2014, returned from a working visit to Luanda, Angola where he attended the Fifth Ordinary Summit of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) at the invitation of Angolan President Jose Edouardo dos Santos, who assumed the chair of the ICGLR for a two-year period.
The ICGLR Heads of State and Government reviewed, amongst others, progress made in the implementation of the "ICGLR Pact on Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes Region" and the "United Nations (UN) Framework for Peace, Security and Cooperation for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the Region".
The ICGLR Leaders also focused on the current situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) and South Sudan.
President Zuma said South Africa was invited to observe and participate in the Summit since South Africa is one of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries that have contributed to the UN Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO).
"Matters discussed in the Great Lakes Region Summit have an impact on the DRC. It is for this reason that South Africa participated throughout the Summit and found the consultations useful and positive," the President said.
With regard to the security situation in the DRC, the ICGLR Heads of State and Government welcomed the Joint Communiqué signed by the Chairpersons of the ICGLR and SADC in Pretoria, South Africa on 7 November 2013, as well as the Declarations signed by the representatives of the Government of the DRC and the defeated former M23 rebels in Nairobi, Kenya on 12 December 2013, concluding the Kampala Dialogue between the DRC and M23.
The ICGLR Leaders urged MONUSCO to urgently intensify its operations to eradicate all other negative forces operating in the Eastern DRC since their activities are also threatening the security of the Great Lakes Region.
In this regard, President Zuma said the Government of the DRC was committed to dealing with this matter and MONUSCO has been tasked to effectively eradicate these forces. "This is a matter that Africa has taken up in a particular way to achieve sustainable peace and stability on the Continent," he added.
Regarding the situation in the CAR and South Sudan, the ICGLR Leaders expressed deep concern at the recent outbreak of violence and worsening security and humanitarian situation in these two countries.
The ICGLR Leaders urged the African Union (AU) and its partners to strengthen the International Mission for the Stabilization of Central African Republic (MISCA) by availing resources and logistical support to enable it to fulfil its mandate.
Furthermore, the ICGLR Leaders committed to offering political and other forms of support to the ongoing mediation efforts in South Sudan led by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
President Zuma said South Africa has been requested to assist by intervening in the process of finding an immediate solution and bring about peace in that country due to its experience in conflict resolution and national reconciliation.
Other matters discussed at the ICGLR Summit were on the implementation of the ICGLR Humanitarian Trust Fund; the Lusaka Declaration on the Fight against Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources; the December 2011 Kampala Declaration on the Fight against sexual gender-based violence (SGBV); the Protocol on Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, War Crimes, Crimes against Humanity and other Forms of Discrimination. Socio-economic development and budgetary matters were also discussed.
At the conclusion of the Summit, a Declaration was adopted outlining the decisions taken by the Heads of State and Government of the ICGLR. The presence of President Zuma as guest of honour at the Summit was noted with appreciation.
The Sixth Ordinary Summit of the ICGLR will take place in the Republic of Kenya on 15 December 2015.
The President was accompanied by Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation.
A full text of the Declaration can be found at http://icglr.org/index.php/en/..
For further information, please contact Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, on 082 884 5974
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