Statement of the A3+1 during the UNSC meeting
on the Great Lakes Region
Monday, 12 April 2021
1. I have the pleasure to deliver this statement on behalf of the A3+1, namely, Kenya, Niger, Tunisia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
2. Let me first express our appreciation to Mr. Huang XIA, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region, and H.E. Mr. Mohamed Edrees, Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) for their comprehensive and informative briefings on the situation in this region and on the activities of their respective offices.
3. Our statement will focus on the security, political and humanitarian situation, as well as the prospects for the region in light of the implementation of the Peace Security and Cooperation (PSC) Framework.
4. The A3+1 notes with satisfaction the relative decline in cross-border security incidents during the reporting period and commends the collaborative response efforts by regional States.
5. We are equally encouraged by the positive political dynamics in the region following the holding of elections in Tanzania and Uganda as well as efforts of the leaders of countries in the Great Lakes region to further strengthen and normalize their relations.
6. We are confident that President Tshisekedi’s leadership of the African Union (AU) will foster improved cooperation across the Great Lakes region.
7. Nevertheless, we remain deeply concerned about the volatile security situation in eastern DRC which continues to be a bleeding sore in the region. In this regard, we strongly condemn the hostile activities and deadly attacks by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) which have had destabilizing impact in the whole region.
8. The 22nd of February attack on World Food Programme (WFP) convoy in north-eastern Goma was very indicative of the highly sophisticated operational capacity of such groups.
9. While reiterating that the perpetrators should be held accountable and brought to justice, we underline the need to expedite the establishment of critical national and regional disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration frameworks.
10. We support the reconfiguration of MONUSCO, as proposed by the United Nations secretariat, with a view to ensuring that the Mission remains fit for purpose. We underscore the need for enhanced close collaboration between the Mission and the Armed Forces of the DRC including through information sharing and coordination of activities to effectively neutralize local and foreign armed group activities.
11. We further call for enhanced and sustained support to the national defense and security institutions in readiness to assume its primary responsibility of protection of civilians in eastern DRC.
12. On the Central African Republic, we welcome the adoption of Resolution 2566 (2021) on the reinforcement of MINUSCA. We support dialogue between the CAR government and the civil opposition for the implementation of the Political Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation, fully aware that there is no military solution to the situation.
13. We recognize the valuable role of both the PBC, alongside its key partners such as the World Bank and other International Financial Institutions (IFIs), and the Peacebuilding Fund (PBF), in supporting cross-border cooperation in the region in the context of the PSC Framework, including ongoing support for enhanced security cooperation, reconciliation and social cohesion, inclusive local governance, community reintegration of ex-combatants and durable solutions for displaced populations.
14. In addition to these security challenges, the region continues to be adversely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic which is impeding the delivery of humanitarian assistance and exacerbating the already dire