The African Union Commission (AUC) and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that defines the modalities of cooperation in areas of mutual support for peace and stability in the Great Lakes Region.
According to a statement, the MoU was signed on Monday at the union’s headquarters in Addis Ababa by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr. Jean Ping, and the Executive Secretary of ICGLR, Amb. Liberata Mulamula.
“The two Parties will reinforce the capacity of the Great Lakes Region to anticipate, prevent, manage and resolve conflicts; support and encourage initiatives aimed at transforming the Great Lakes Region into areas of shared growth and development, mainly in areas of infrastructure development, micro finance support, water and food security,” reads part of the AUC statement.
“In addition, they will ensure the coordination and follow-up of actions related to the promotion of measures intended to end exploitation and the use of illegal or illicit exploitation of natural resources, the proliferation and trafficking of illegal small arms and light weapons, as well as trans-national crimes.”
At the signing ceremony, Dr. Ping observed that the MoU is a concrete example that “we can do things together.”
He commended the work of the ICGLR Secretariat and expressed optimism at the prospects for peace in the region after years of instability. He recalled the negative impact of the wars in DRC and Genocide in Rwanda, which had implications for the whole continent.
ICGLR and AUC committed themselves to promote and encourage democratic principles and good governance, particularly the promotion of local governance and the creation of opportunities for the civil society, the youth, women and other interest groups to participate in decision-making, among others.
With headquarters in Bujumbura, Burundi, the ICGLR is an intergovernmental organization formed in 2006. It’s made up of Zambia, Angola, Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda.