ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, Jan 31 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has signed the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework (PSCR) for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Great Lakes Region.
With signing of the agreement, Kenya joins the DRC, Angola, Republic of Congo, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Central African Republic (CAR), Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan and Zambia which endorsed the regional peace initiative last year.
“Kenya shares the vision of the pact and we are happy to be involved in the framework,” President Kenyatta said.
Addressing the 3rd meeting of the Regional Oversight Mechanism (ROM) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the President said oversight is critical for managing peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Great Lakes region.
He said the Peace Framework, which places development at the centre of solutions to peace, security and stability, is a visionary initiative that would help to address the challenges of the region.
“I note with pleasure and gratitude that all the stakeholders and guarantors of this framework have welcomed Kenya’s inclusion,” he said.
The President expressed concern over the periodic eruption of conflict in the Great Lakes Region and called for urgent action in eastern DRC, the Central African Republic and South Sudan.
“These conflicts derail our collective desire to improve the social economic well-being of our people and cause immense human suffering,” the President said.
He welcomed the conclusion of the Kampala Dialogue and the signing of the Nairobi Declaration between the government of the DR Congo and M23. He said the establishment of a national oversight mechanism by President Joseph Kabila is a positive development.
“I encourage all parties to sustain leadership towards constructive engagement until lasting peace is attained,” he said.
The President assured the meeting of Kenya’s support to the mediation efforts by the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to end the conflicts in the Central African Republic and South Sudan respectively.
On Kenya’s part, he underlined his administration’s determination to transform the region into a haven of peace, security, stability and economic development through consistent collective initiatives.
He said Kenya has given priority to regional infrastructural interconnectivity as the stepping stone to increased regional trade, investment and employment.
The President informed the meeting that Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan have held three infrastructure summits which identified projects that would boost regional integration.
“They include railway development, crude oil and petroleum products pipeline development, power generation and transmission as well as oil refinery development,” the President said.
He encouraged increased private sector investments in the region, saying it will foster economic development and lead to peace and stability.
Addressing the meeting, United Nations Under-Secretary General, Jan Eliason, commended the commitment exhibited by leaders since the signing of the peace framework last year. He welcomed Kenya’s inclusion in the peace initiative.