The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) has strongly condemned acts of terrorism in the region, calling for immediate joint action by member countries.
The resolution was made during the organisation’s Fifth Ordinary Session that convened on January 20- 22 in Nairobi, Kenya.
ICCGL singled out Somali militant group, al Shabaab, that recently committed a string of attacks in Kenya, and the FDRL, remnants of perpetrators of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi who continue to cause insecurity from their bases in eastern DR Congo.
“Their acts of terrorism in the Great Lakes Region have caused enormous loss of life and property. We express deep sympathy to the victims and their families,” reads the declaration in part.
The session saw the 12-member deliberate on three key security challenges facing the region today. Top on the agenda was the political and security situation in Central African Republic, DR Congo and South Sudan.
Senate President Bernard Makuza who represented Rwanda, said the resolutions called for immediate action from the international community to end terror acts in the region.
“We in Rwanda are glad that members of ICGLR recognize that FDLR is not only a security threat to Rwanda but to the entire region as a whole. Military action is the only solution to end such terror groups,” Makuza told Sunday Times by telephone from Nairobi.
A report presented by Burundi’s Sylvestre Ntibantunganya on Tuesday detailed a number of crimes committed by FDLR against civilians in DR Congo, including rape and murder.
Makuza said Ntibantunganya’s report, compiled by ICGLR members who visited DR Congo last year, was backed by the majority of representatives in the House.
FDLR was put on notice by ICGLR and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to disarm by January 2 or face military, but the deadline has passed without any action.
Despite calls for military action against the terror group, the UN Mission in DR Congo (Monusco) and the Congolese government are still reluctant.