Heads of State attending the Fourth Ordinary Summit and Special Session on Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV), in Kampala, Uganda, have called for resolute action to curb the continued high rate of gender based violence in the region.
The summit was convened under the auspices of the International Conference for the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR).
The meeting, held under the theme; “united to prevent, end impunity and provide support to victims of SGBV” was a climax of a series of earlier meetings.
Zambia’s Micheal Chilufya Sata (outgoing chair), Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni (incoming chair), Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi, and Mwai Kibaki of Kenya are attending the summit that ends today.
Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo, who represented President Paul Kagame at the summit, called on the ICGLR Secretariat to focus on its primary mission that is peace and security.
“Let me simply urge a holistic approach to this issue beginning and centering on a sweeping action against negative forces in our great lakes region,” she said.
President Museveni called on member states of the ICGLR to ensure adequate and stringent laws punishing SGBV.
Sata regretted the presence of negative forces in the region, such as the FDLR, LRA and Al Shabaab, which continue to commit such atrocities as defilement, rape and abductions.
The First Ladies who had earlier met in a different function called on governments to support professional and civil society organizations, such as the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) so they can provide legal aid to GBV victims.