REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY JAKAYA MRISHO KIKWETE, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA,
AT THE FIRST MEETING OF THE REGIONAL OVERSIGHT MECHANISM OF THE PEACE, SECURITY AND COOPERATION FRAMEWORK FOR THE DRC AND THE REGION,
26TH MAY, 2013, ADDIS ABABA
Excellencies, Heads of States and Government;
Your Excellency Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General;
Your Excellency Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission;
Executive Secretaries of SADC and ICGLR;
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I thank you Mr. Secretary General and Madam Chairperson for convening this first meeting of the Regional Oversight Mechanism of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and Region we signed on February 24th, 2013. Tanzania welcomes your joint efforts which will go a long way towards ensuring that the objectives of the Framework are implemented to the letter and spirit.
I commend you Secretary General, Ban Ki-moonfor appointing Mrs. Mary Robinson to be your Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region. This is a clear testimony of the seriousness that you and the UN attach to attainment of peace and stability in the DRC and the Great Lakes Region. I have no doubt in my mind that she will add value to the efforts being deployed to find durable peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. I pray that she will use her long experience and renowned diplomatic skills to enable the people of the DRC and the Great Lakes Region realise their long standing dream of a peaceful and stable country and the region. I assure Madam Robinson my personal commitment as well as my Government’s readiness to work with her in fulfilling her mandate.
We all know that the Framework we signed in February this year (2013) provides another important milestone in the search for durable peace in the DRC and her neighbours and the region at large. The launching of the Regional Oversight Mechanism, the establishment of the Technical Support Committee and the creation by the UNSC of the Force Intervention Brigade under MONUSCO are important milestones in these endeavours. I am confident, all these measures will go a long way towards bringing about lasting peace in Eastern DRC. But, the success of these efforts will depend on the genuine commitment and readiness of the parties to see peace reign if they have at heart the belief and desire for peaceful solutions to this long standing conflict which has infected great misery and suffering to millions of innocent people. Unfortunately, it is the women, children and innocent civilians who suffer the most.
It is evident that the barrel of the gun cannot be the ultimate answer as testified by the recurrence of fighting. We must deploy serious efforts towards bringing the parties to the negotiating table. Only the negotiating table will deliver on the demands of all the conflicting parties. I am hoping that this Mechanism will deploy serious efforts towards initiating comprehensive negotiations. First, let the Regional Oversight Mechanism be a catalyst for completion of the ongoing peace talks in Kampala between the M23 and the government of the DRC. If these talks are concluded successfully and implemented to the letter and spirit, the first visible manifestation of the conflict will have laid to rest. But, there are other players, the FDLR and the ADF who should also be engaged and find a peaceful way of making them stop their negative activities against their countries of origin.
I am of the view that the enlargement of MONUSCO and the deployment of Intervention Brigade to play a dissuading role will not end the war. Ultimately, and comprehensive and lasting peace will be realised at the negotiating table. Let us give serious attention to peace talks. Let the Mechanism support the process in Kampala. Time has come to reach out to FDLR, ADF and other negative forces with the view to ending the circle of violence.
I also welcome the establishment of a Technical Support Committee to develop benchmarks and ensure day – to – day monitoring and reporting on the implementation of the Framework. The activities of these processes should be well coordinated to create a synergy and energy that will push the peace agenda of the region to fruition.
Once again, I commend the UN Secretary General and the AU Chairperson for supporting the regional Oversight Mechanism and the Technical Support Committee to be established. I sincerely hope that these two structures will be fully supported by the region and international stakeholders. I am confident that through our commitment and support the pursuit of peace negotiations in the DRC, her neighbours and the region will attain the much sought and elusive commodity: namely, peace on its hands. It can be done. Let us play our part.
Thank you for your attention.