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Press Statement: High-level representatives from UN, AU, ICGLR and SADC to visit DRC on the neutralization of armed groups in the country’s east (25.05.2016)

M23 Goma

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 23, 2016 – “Guarantors” of a peace framework for the Great Lakes region of Africa, comprising the United Nations (UN), the African Union (AU), the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) will dispatch a high-level delegation to eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) from 23 to 27 May 2016 for consultations on aspects of the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation (PSC) Framework for the DRC and the Region. While in eastern DRC, the “Guarantors” will assess the process to neutralize other active rebel groups, including the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).

The five-day field visit will take the delegation to Goma and Beni, in eastern DRC, a region that has been rocked by series of attacks by various armed groups.

The visit is a follow-up to earlier consultations in Uganda, Rwanda and the DRC in an attempt to intensify efforts to neutralize armed groups in eastern DRC and expedite the repatriation of the ex-M23 combatants from these countries to the DRC.

Following the last report of the United Nations Secretary-General on the implementation of the PSC Framework, the Security Council in a new resolution 2277 (2016) stressed “the importance of neutralizing all armed groups operating in the eastern DRC, particularly the FDLR, the ADF, and other groups.”

Participating in the mission to the DRC are the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for the Great Lakes region, Said Djinnit; the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the AU Commission for the Great Lakes Region and Head of the Liaison Office in Bujumbura, Ibrahima Fall; the Executive Secretary of the ICGLR, Ntumba Luaba; the Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), David Gressly; and SADC officials, including Lt Col Wilbert A. Ibuge and Lt Col Johannes P. Mkhabela.

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