The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) will soon sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the African Union (AU) aimed at harmonizing peace and security approaches, a senior ICGRL official has said.
Ambassador Liberata Mulamula made the disclosure during the opening of the eleven-member bloc’s Inter-ministerial Committee Meeting currently underway in Kampala, Uganda.
“We expect to conclude the MoU with the African Union before the end of this year,” Mulamula told the participants.
Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Eugene Munyakayanza is representing Minister Louise Mushikiwabo at the meeting.
The meeting, which is a follow up on the ICGLR summit that was held in Lusaka, Zambia last year, is geared towards discussing among other issues, the path to ensuring lasting peace, stability and development in the region.
Mulamula said that the regional organization had made progress in signing MoUs with seven regional blocs, and said these had played a huge role in defining the scope of cooperation.
She urged ministers from partner states in those organizations to render necessary support to ensure success of joint programmes.
“Our appeal to the ministers is to support these efforts and avoid duplication of efforts and initiatives that overstretch our limited resources,” she said.
On peace and security, the ICGLR boss said that there is still a challenge in tackling the remaining armed groups and negative forces operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
In his opening statement, Uganda’s Minister of Internal Affairs, Kirunda Kivenjinja, said there is still need for member states to implement the pact on security, stability, and development in the region.
“The national and regional processes should be effectively interlinked if we are to fully realize total peace and security, democracy and governance,” he said.
Youth representatives at the meeting called upon member states to engage them in trans-boundary activities to encourage ownership and posterity.