The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) has appealed to the African Union (AU) for help in finding a lasting solution to the insecurity in the region.
Speaking to The New Times, the Acting National Coordinator of the ICLGR, Joseph Kabakeza, said that the request was made during a summit of the Heads of State and Government of the ICGLR held on the margins of the just concluded AU summit in Addis Ababa.
In a speech availed to The New Times, Zambian President and current ICGLR chairperson, Rupiah Banda, told a gathering of the region’s Heads of State and governments that there were some big achievements towards ensuring durable peace and security in the region.
Banda urged the AU Commission to recognize the ICGLR as a partner in implementation of past pacts as well as other AU activities related to peace and security in the region.
“We wish to request the AU to grant the ICGLR special status during its meeting in order to benefit from ICGLR contributions to peace and security,” the Zambian leader added.
Banda also called for peaceful and democratic elections among member countries headed for the polls later in the year.
A communiqué of the ICGLR meeting notes that the grouping’s leaders discussed the peace process in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and welcomed efforts made in pursuing and uprooting FDLR rebels and arresting their leaders.
Kabakeza said that the co-facilitators of the DRC peace process – former presidents Olusegun Obasanjo (Nigeria) and Benjamin Mkapa (Tanzania), wound up their work and presented a progress report.