ICGLR chief says most members yet to ratify peace pact
GREAT LAKES REGION - The First Executive Secretary of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), Ambassador Liberata Mulamula, has requested for President Paul Kagame’s full backing in convincing member states to ratify a common pact. She said that only the core member countries of Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Burundi, out of the eleven members, had ratified the Pact on Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes region.
She expressed optimism that the remaining parties would soon follow suite.
“Part of the discussion we held with the President was to seek his assistance on calling upon other states to ratify this pact,” Mulamula told reporters shortly after meeting Kagame at Village Urugwiro yesterday.
Other members are Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Congo Brazzaville), DRC, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
She also said that she wanted the President’s support in ensuring that member states pay their contribution to the operational fund of the secretariat.
“Rwanda is one of the few countries that have paid their contributions to the secretariat,” she said. Mulamula however said that the situation was not very alarming since the forum’s secretariat had been only a few months ago.
She added that some countries have already tabled the pact before their respective parliaments.
Mulamula briefed President Kagame on current progress as well as challenges of the new ICGLR Secretariat and expressed appreciation for Rwanda’s commitment and support.
President Kagame reiterated continued support to the ICGLR, saying that member countries need to take ownership of the framework to make it work for the benefit of the region, focussing on security and development as priorities.
Kagame also pledged Rwanda’s commitment to the ICGLR Special Fund for Reconstruction and Development envisioned in the Nairobi Pact as a financial instrument for reconstruction and development in the Great Lakes region.
This is the Mulamula’s first visit to Rwanda since her appointment to head the Bujumbura-based Secretariat.
The secretariat of the Conference was set up earlier this year and its prime objective, according to Mulamula, is to solve various problems in the region.
“Among other projects we have in plans is the establishment of a centre for democracy and good governance in Lusaka (Zambia) which will help monitoring elections in the region,” she said.
The pact, according to Dr Richard Sezibera, hinges on four principles; peace and security, economic cooperation, democracy and good governance and gathering efforts to combat post-conflict problems in the region.
“In all, this pact has thirty-seven projects to be implemented in different stages,” said Sezibera, who is the President’s Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region.
Sezibera is also the national coordinator of the Conference.