A chance to restore peace in DRC

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Thursday, 6 June, 2013

Kofi Annan writes to African heads of state to express The Elders’ support for peace efforts in the Democratic Republic of Congo, encouraging leaders to work closely with UN Special Envoy Mary Robinson.

Last month Kofi Annan wrote to eleven leaders in the Great Lakes region of Africa, urging them to implement the Peace, Security and Co-operation (PSC) Framework for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which they signed in February.

The Framework provides “a unique opportunity for coordinated action at the national, regional and international levels, to bring about a lasting peace,” writes Kofi Annan in the letter. He calls for civil society to be heavily involved in its implementation: “Ownership of the PSC Framework by the people will only increase its chances of success in bringing stability and reconciliation to the region.”

In his letter Kofi Annan also encourages them to work closely with UN Special Envoy Mary Robinson: "Knowing well her lifelong dedication to peace and justice, you can trust that Mrs Robinson will be constantly by your side over the coming months and years, to provide you with whatever support may be necessary to achieve lasting peace in the Great Lakes region."

In March, the Elders warmly welcomed the appointment by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of their fellow Elder Mary Robinson as Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region.

Conflict has ravaged eastern DRC since the 1990s, claiming more than 5 million lives and displacing nearly two million people. Human rights violations, including sexual violence, are routinely used as weapons of war. Efforts to provide aid and implement reforms in the DRC, the world’s poorest country, have frequently been disrupted.

The letter was sent to President dos Santos of Angola, President Nkurunziza of Burundi, President Djotodia of the Central African Republic, President Sassou Nguesso of Congo, President Kabila of the DRC, President Kagame of Rwanda, President Zuma of South Africa, President Kiir of South Sudan, President Kikwete of Tanzania, President Museveni of Uganda and President Sata of Zambia.

Read the letter

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