Regional leaders have directed that a special summit to look into the issue of illegal exploitation of natural resources in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) be organized so as to boost the peace process in the country.
No date has been fixed but the idea and the ensuing directive came after the mini-summit by Heads of State and Government of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) held on the margins of the recently concluded AU summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The ICGLR mini-summit was convened to receive a briefing from the co-facilitators of the DRC peace process and consider the developments in DRC as well as the situation in the region.
With respect to the peace process in the DRC, a statement notes that the mini-summit “directed the ICGLR Secretariat in close collaboration with the DRC government to organize a special summit of Heads of State and Government to discuss at length the illegal exploitation of natural resources and the involvement of multinationals, and implications.”
Joseph Kabakeza, the Acting National Coordinator of the ICGLR, said on Monday that the main idea of the anticipated special summit is ingrained in the general framework of ICGLR’s 10 key Protocols.
He explained that no date has been fixed because there are other activities scheduled for the next few months.
“It will depend on when all the other scheduled programs are over and done with (but) it will definitely be held this year,” Kabakeza said.
“It is in the framework of the protocol against the illegal exploitation of natural resources which is one of the 10 protocols of the ICGLR.”
In accordance with the Protocol, ICGLR Member States earlier agreed to put in place regional rules and mechanisms for combating the illegal exploitation of natural resources which constitute a violation of the state’s right of permanent sovereignty over their natural resources and a serious source of insecurity, instability, tension and conflicts.