THIS IS a reaction to Joe B. Jakes’ article, “Great Lakes Region: Why peace agreements without peace? (The New Times, February 13, 2013).
The writer makes many valid points. The overarching obstacle to achieving and sustaining peace, however, is the ability of self-serving outsiders – including unaccountable non-state actors with hidden agendas, to consistently replace the interests of the national actors with their own preferred outcomes.
National and regional actors, whose interests should be central to the peace process, have, thus, no buy-in into the outcome and will not work towards its sustainability. Ultimately, these arrogant and conceited outsiders can use their influence with the media, political decision-makers at the national and international levels, to impose their choice of peace negotiation outcomes.
But they cannot make it stick on local actors who do not recognise their fundamental interests in those outcomes that favour foreign and non-regional parties’ choices rather than their own.
Until this basic factor is taken into full account and outsiders understand that their very success carries the seeds of their choices’ failure and future conflict, we shall continue with this loop to failure.
THE PROBLEM with DR Congo, as the writer puts it, is lack of political will to solve the root causes of their crises. Congo has got around 50 rebel groups, one would ask why?
The point lies in the fact that the Kinshasa government and the international community are adamant about issues. I would avoid to say that DR Congo is too big a country but given the situation, I have to admit that it is becoming too big for one government, especially bearing in mind that there is a diversity of cultures, norms and values.
If agreements do not hold, it means the terms of the agreements right from the start, carry with them elements of implementation failure.