International Team of Special Envoys for the Great Lakes Joint Statement on the Conclusion of the Ka
Kinshasa, 13 December 2013: Special Envoy of the Secretary-General to the Great Lakes Region Mary Robinson, U.S. Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Russ Feingold, Special Representative of the African Union Boubacar Diarra, European Union Senior Coordinator for the Great Lakes region Koen Vervaeke, and UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative in the DRC Martin Kobler welcome the declarations signed on December 12, 2013 by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the M23 rebel group, as well as the joint declaration by Uganda President Yoweri Museveni, on behalf of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, and Malawi President Joyce Banda, on behalf of the Southern African Development Community. These declarations, which mark the end of the M23 rebellion and the successful conclusion of the 12-month long Kampala Dialogue, help build the foundation for sustainable peace in the Great Lakes region.
The Envoys encourage the parties to promptly implement their commitments in the declarations including the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of M23 members in the DRC, Rwanda, and Uganda as appropriate. The Envoys urge the DRC government to ensure that all of those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity are held accountable.
The conclusion of the Kampala Dialogue is an important step on the path to a permanent resolution of the crisis in the eastern DRC, however much remains to be done. The M23 is only one of dozens of armed groups in the DRC, and the Envoys call on all negative forces to lay down their weapons. The Envoys stress the urgency of establishing a comprehensive DDR program for ex-combatants from all armed groups, and urge the DRC government to fully implement such a program, with support from MONUSCO's DDR/RR program. Looking forward, the Envoys encourage the Great Lakes region to seize the positive momentum to further the implementation of the Peace, Security, and Cooperation Framework, including through a broader political dialogue between regional states.
The Envoys expressed great appreciation for the leadership and diligent commitment to peace shown by President Museveni, the Mediator of the Kampala Dialogue, as well as Ugandan Defense Minister Dr. Crispus Kiyonga, the Facilitator of the Dialogue, and the Secretariat of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region for its role in hosting the Kampala Dialogue.