The SADC Executive Secretary Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax accompanied by the Head of Defence Affairs and the Planning, Lt. Col. Wilbert Augustin Ibuge, and Mr. Mr Alex Banda, attended the 14th meeting of the Technical Support Committee (TSC) of the Regional Oversight Mechanism of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework (ROM-PSCF) for the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Great Lakes Region on 7th October 2016. The meeting took place in Nairobi, Kenya.
The TSC reviewed progress in the implementation of national, regional and international commitments of the Framework Agreement, and assessed the developments in the region, notably in Burundi, the DRC, the Central African Republic and South Sudan. The meeting also discussed preparations for the 7th meeting of the ROM-PSCF Committee scheduled on 26th October 2016 in Luanda Angola.
While acknowledging progress in the regional efforts, to curtail the activities of illegal armed groups in the eastern DRC, the TSC took note of the challenges in the overall implementation of the Framework Agreement. The TSC requested the leaders of the redouble efforts in the implementation of national, regional and international commitments under the PSC Framework Agreement, and to work collaboratively for the neutralisation of the armed groups in the region; improve information sharing; and strengthen security mechanisms. Increased participation of women in peace processes was equally emphasized.
In her remarks, the SADC Executive Secretary commended the Guarantors' initiatives and the governments of the Great Lakes region, and the international community that have supported the DRC in its efforts to fight the negative forces. She also highlighted that in response to the situation in the DRC, the SADC Summit, in August 2016, "urged MONUSCO and the FARDC to strengthen their joint operations, aimed at completely eradicating the threat posed by negative forces, thereby enabling a return to peace and stability; and urged all parties involved in undertaking the Disarmament, Demobilization, Resettlement, Reintegration and/or Repatriation (DDRRR) process in the DRC and the region, to enhance their efforts towards completion of the process for all disarmed ex-combatants, and to facilitate eventual re-integration and/or repatriation to enable the region to focus more on the development needs for the benefit of people in the region''.
Participants at the meeting included Angola, Burundi Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo Brazzaville, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania Uganda and Zambia; as well as the Office of the United Nations Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region, the African Union (AU), the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).