International Institutions

44 Leading Congolese and International NGOs Welcome Peace, Security, and Cooperation Framework but Call for Further Action To Make Peace a Reality

Date: 
Feb 24, 2013

Joint Press Release - Version française ci-dessous

Groups say agreement is not enough and outline concrete steps that need to be taken

Reiterate call for UN, US and EU to appoint Special Envoys and greater regional involvement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Goma/Washington/Kinshasa -- A group of prominent Congolese and international NGOs today called on countries in the Great Lakes region, along with their international partners, to ensure that the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework Agreement signed in Addis Ababa is given the political backing necessary to bring an end to war in the eastern Congo.

In a published policy response, the groups welcomed the Framework Agreement as an opportunity for a new kind of decisive engagement in a conflict that has persisted for two decades and ravaged the lives of millions of Congolese.

However, they also suggest that the Agreement will be hollow without specific additional measures, including the appointment of a high-profile UN Special Envoy with the power to mediate on both a domestic and regional level; the inclusion of Congolese civil society and Kinshasa’s main bilateral and multilateral donor partners in the proposed national oversight mechanism; and the tying of donor aid to clear and agreed benchmarks and genuine collaboration between government, donors, and civil society.

The groups also called for the creation of a donor fund to support projects aimed at deepening regional economic integration to emphasize the benefits of regional stability; UN-mediated negotiations with armed groups that avoid the impunity characteristic of past deals; and substantial donor engagement to promote demobilization of rebel soldiers and regional economic integration.

“We need a new approach, a peace process based on the principles of justice,” says Raphael Wakenge, Coordinator of the Congolese Initiative for Justice and Peace (ICJP).  “Past peace deals have often closed their eyes toward impunity, allowing war criminals to be integrated into the army, police and security services. This has undermined the legitimacy of the peace process and the reputation of the security services, including the judiciary.”

The Framework Agreement is based on two main points: bringing an end to foreign backing of Congolese rebellion movements, and fostering the comprehensive reform of state institutions such as the national army, police and judicial sectors. The groups today called on the facilitators and the eleven state signatories of the Framework to make sure that there are clear benchmarks in order to carry out these goals. They further suggested that donors should tie their aid to progress in the peace process. 

“The Framework Agreement is a strong promise to the Congolese people, but past peace processes have stumbled due to a lack of transparency, weak international engagement and the absence of a comprehensive process,” says Federico Borello, Great Lakes Director for Humanity United. “This time, it is imperative to tackle once and for all the Congo’s root problems of impunity, regional interference, and state weakness. Without them, our best chance for peace will fail.”

In addition, the groups also called on the international community to show steadfast commitment that goes beyond the technocratic approach of recent years. In addition to calling for a UN Special Envoy, the groups called on the United States and the European Union to name special envoys to support the process, and on the African Union, the International Conference on the Great Lakes (ICGLR) and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) to continue providing support to the process. They also called for a donor conference to commit the resources necessary to promote cross-border economic collaboration and deep-rooted reform of Congolese institutions.

“There has not been a solid peace process in the Congo since 2006, despite the escalation of violence since then,” says Jason Stearns, Usalama Project director for the Rift Valley Institute. “The Framework Agreement provides hope, but it will require substantial political and financial capital to overcome entrenched interests.”

The groups releasing the policy paper today included:

Action Aid, Action des Chrétiens pour l'Abolition de la Torture (ACAT), Action Humanitaire et de Développement Intégral (AHDI), Action pour la Paix et la Concorde (APC), Africa Faith and Justice Network, Association Africaine de Défense des Droits de l'Homme (ASADHO), Association pour le Développement des Initiatives Paysannes (ASSODIP asbl), Atma Foundation, Bureau d'Etude et d'Accompagnement des Relations Internationales en RDC (BEARIC), Centre des Etudes et de Formation Populaire pour les Droits de l'Homme CEFOP/DH, Centre pour la Paix et les Droits de l'Homme- Peace and Human Rights Center (CPDH – PHRC), Christian Aid, Collectif des Organisations des Droits Humains et de la Démocratie au Congo (CDHD), Comité des Observateurs des Droits de l'Homme (CODHO), Conciliation Resources, CordAid, Danish Refugee Council, Dynamique Synergie des Femmes, Enough Project, Eurac, Fonds pour les Femmes Congolaises (FFC), Forum de la Femme Ménagère (FORFEM), Groupe Justice et Libération, Humanity United, IFDP, International Refugee Rights Initiative, Invisible Children, Institute for Security Studies (ISS), Jesuit Refugee Service, Jewish World Watch, Justice Plus, Ligue des Electeurs (L.E), Ligue pour la Cohabitation Pacifique et de Prévention des Conflits (LCPC), MDF, Norwegian Refugee Council, Réseau pour la Réforme du Secteur de Sécurité et de Justice (RRSSJ), Resolve, Société Civile du Territoire de Nyiragongo et le point focal du COJESKI Nyiragongo, Solidarité Féminine pour la Paix et le Développement Intégral (Sofepadi), Solidarité pour la Promotion sociale et la Paix (SOPROP), The Global Centre for Responsibility to Protect, Union des Jeunes Congolais pour la Paix et le Developpement Intégral (UJCPDI), Voix des Sans Voix (VSV), Youth Program for the Development of Africa (YPDA)

A copy of the groups’ recommendations can be found at – http://humanityunited.org/drcf/A_Comprehensive_Approach_FINAL_v5.pdf

For more information in English, please contact:

Nina Blackwell | Humanity United, nblackwell@humanityunited.org, +1-917-584-4314

Jonathan Hutson | Enough Project, jhutson@enoughproject.org
    

Pour de plus amples renseignements,  veuillez contacter:

Jason Stearns | Rift Valley Institute, English | Français | Swahili, jasonkstearns@yahoo.com, +254 787899568

 

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44 ONG CONGOLAISES ET INTERNATIONALES DE PREMIER PLAN SALUENT L’ACCORD-CADRE POUR LA PAIX, LA SÉCURITÉ ET LA COOPÉRATION MAIS APPELLENT À DES ACTIONS COMPLÉMENTAIRES POUR QUE LA PAIX DEVIENNE RÉALITÉ

Les groupes considèrent que l’accord n’est pas suffisant et proposent des mesures concrètes à prendre

Ils réitèrent leur demande à l’ONU, aux États-Unis et à l’UE de nommer des Envoyés spéciaux et d’accroître l’implication régionale

(Goma/Washington/Kinshasa, le 24 février 2013)

Un groupe d'ONG congolaises et internationales bien connues a appelé aujourd'hui les pays de la région des Grands Lacs, ainsi que leurs partenaires internationaux, à garantir que l'accord-cadre pour la paix, la sécurité et la coopération signé à Addis Abeba recevra l'appui politique nécessaire pour mettre un terme à la guerre dans l'est de la RDC.

Dans un document d’orientation publié ce jour les groupes ont fait part de leur accueil favorable à l'accord-cadre comme une occasion d’instaurer un nouveau type d'engagement décisif dans un conflit qui perdure depuis deux décennies et a ravagé les vies de millions de Congolais.

Cependant, ils suggèrent également que l’accord sera vain sans des mesures spécifiques supplémentaires, notamment la nomination d’un ancien chef d’État en qualité d’Envoyé spécial des Nations Unies habilité à servir de médiateur au niveau national et régional ; l’intégration de la société civile congolaise et des principaux partenaires donateurs bilatéraux et multilatéraux de Kinshasa dans le mécanisme de surveillance national ; l’introduction d’une politique de conditionnalité basée sur des critères clairs et convenus et sur une collaboration véritable entre le gouvernement, les donateurs et la société civile.

Les groupes exigent également la création d’un fonds par la communauté internationale pour soutenir des projets visant à renforcer l’intégration économique régionale pour mettre l’accent sur les avantages de la stabilité régionale, l’introduction de mesures positives que les pays voisins doivent adopter pour démontrer leur engagement en faveur de la fin du conflit, des négociations réalistes avec les groupes armés pour éviter l’impunité judiciaire qui a caractérisé les accords passés, et un engagement significatif des donateurs pour favoriser la démobilisation des soldats rebelles et l’intégration économique régionale.

« Nous avons besoin d’une approche nouvelle, d’un processus de paix basé sur les principes de justice », déclare Raphael Wakenge, coordinateur de l’Initiative congolaise pour la justice et la paix (ICJP). « Les accords de paix précédents ont souvent fermé les yeux sur l’impunité, permettant aux criminels de guerre d’être intégrés dans les services de l’armée, la police et la sécurité. Cela a compromis la légitimité du processus de paix et la réputation des services de sécurité, y compris du système judiciaire. »

L’accord-cadre est basé sur deux points principaux : mettre fin au soutien étranger aux mouvements de rébellion congolaise et favoriser la réforme globale des institutions étatiques telles que les secteurs de l’armée nationale, la police et la justice. Les groupes ont appelé aujourd’hui les facilitateurs et les onze États signataires de l’accord-cadre à s’assurer de l’existence de critères clairs afin d’atteindre ces objectifs. Ils suggèrent, de plus, aux donateurs de subordonner leur aide à la progression dans le processus de paix.

« L’accord-cadre est une promesse forte faite au peuple congolais, mais les processus de paix antérieurs ont échoué en raison du manque de transparence, du faible engagement international et de l’absence de processus global », explique Federico Borello, directeur pour la région des Grands Lacs chez Humanity United. « Cette fois-ci, il est impératif de s’attaquer une bonne fois pour toutes aux problèmes profonds du Congo que sont l’impunité, l’interférence régionale et la faiblesse de l’État. Sans cela, nous passerons à côté de notre meilleure chance de paix. »

De plus, les groupes ont exhorté la communauté internationale à faire preuve d’un soutien constant allant au-delà de l’approche technocratique des dernières années. Outre la demande d’un Envoyé spécial des Nations Unies, les groupes ont appelé les États-Unis et l’Union européenne à nommer des Envoyés spéciaux pour soutenir le processus et ont demandé à l’Union africaine, la Conférence internationale sur la région des Grands Lacs (CIRGL) et la Communauté de développement de l’Afrique australe (SADC) de continuer d’apporter leur soutien au processus. Ils ont aussi préconisé l’organisation d’une conférence de donateurs pour engager les ressources nécessaires afin de promouvoir la collaboration économique transfrontalière et la réforme en profondeur des institutions congolaises.

« Il n’y a pas eu de processus de paix solide au Congo depuis 2006, malgré l’escalade de la violence depuis lors », précise Jason Stearns, directeur du projet Usalama pour le Rift Valley Institute. « L’accord-cadre apporte de l’espoir, mais il exige un capital politique et financier considérable pour surmonter les intérêts bien enracinés. »

Les groupes ayant publié le document d’orientation aujourd’hui incluent :

Action Aid, Action des Chrétiens pour l'Abolition de la Torture (ACAT), Action Humanitaire et de Développement Intégral (AHDI), Action pour la Paix et la Concorde (APC), Africa Faith and Justice Network, Association Africaine de Défense des Droits de l'Homme (ASADHO), Association pour le Développement des Initiatives Paysannes (ASSODIP asbl), Atma Foundation, Bureau d'Etude et d'Accompagnement des Relations Internationales en RDC (BEARIC), Centre des Etudes et de Formation Populaire pour les Droits de l'Homme CEFOP/DH, Centre pour la Paix et les Droits de l'Homme- Peace and Human Rights Center (CPDH – PHRC), Christian Aid, Collectif des Organisations des Droits Humains et de la Démocratie au Congo (CDHD), Comité des Observateurs des Droits de l'Homme (CODHO), Conciliation Resources, CordAid, Danish Refugee Council, Dynamique Synergie des Femmes, Enough Project, Eurac, Fonds pour les Femmes Congolaises (FFC), Forum de la Femme Ménagère (FORFEM), Groupe Justice et Libération, Humanity United, IFDP, International Refugee Rights Initiative, Invisible Children, Institute for Security Studies (ISS), Jesuit Refugee Service, Jewish World Watch, Justice Plus, Ligue des Electeurs (L.E), Ligue pour la Cohabitation Pacifique et de Prévention des Conflits (LCPC), MDF, Norwegian Refugee Council, Réseau pour la Réforme du Secteur de Sécurité et de Justice (RRSSJ), Resolve, Société Civile du Territoire de Nyiragongo et le point focal du COJESKI Nyiragongo, Solidarité Féminine pour la Paix et le Développement Intégral (Sofepadi), Solidarité pour la Promotion sociale et la Paix (SOPROP), The Global Centre for Responsibility to Protect, Union des Jeunes Congolais pour la Paix et le Developpement Intégral (UJCPDI), Voix des sans Voix (VSV), Youth Program for the Development of Africa (YPDA)

Un exemplaire des recommandations des groupes est disponible à l’adresse – http://humanityunited.org/drcf/A_Comprehensive_Approach_FINAL_v5.pdf

Congo Peace Framework Incomplete without Follow-on Negotiations, US Envoy

Date: 
Feb 22, 2012

Enough Project Press Briefing 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 22, 2013

Contact: Jonathan Hutson, jhutson@enoughproject.org, +1-202-386-1618

Washington, DC, and Goma, DR Congo -- The “Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Region” to be signed on February 24 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia will only succeed if it is followed up by a robust peace process led by a capable United Nations mediator and strong backing from the United States. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will preside over the signing by Congo and neighboring countries.      

Enough Project Co-founder John Prendergast said:

“If not accompanied by the swift appointment of a U.N. envoy and the initiation of a focused peace process between Congo, Rwanda and Uganda led by that U.N. envoy, this Framework agreement will end up having no impact on ending the violence in eastern Congo.” 

The Framework lays a foundation for two main elements: regional negotiations over key economic and security issues and processes leading to real institutional reform within Congo, in part through what should be an inclusive and impartially mediated Congolese national dialogue. 

Enough Project Senior Policy Analyst Sasha Lezhnev said:

“President Obama’s second term offers a major opportunity to pursue peace in eastern Congo, the world’s deadliest war in 50 years. The administration can take three steps toward a new peace strategy. First, the U.S. should urge the U.N. to appoint a senior envoy with extensive negotiating experience to act as mediator. Second, the U.S. could work with the U.N. envoy to build a peace process to operationalize the commitments made in the Framework.  And finally, President Obama should appoint a senior U.S. envoy to support the U.N.-led peace process.”

Enough Project Associate Director of Research Aaron Hall said:

“Now is an opportune moment for peace, despite several repeated cycles of violence. The status quo is no longer acceptable, as the international community has finally acted against Rwanda’s alleged support to armed groups contributing to the destabilization of Congo and against Congo’s lack of transparency in the mining and exploitation of its natural resources. The conflict minerals trade is finally less profitable for armed groups targeting civilians because of legislative and corporate reforms.”

If the U.S. and U.N. envoys proactively engage, a peace process would allow Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda to finally address their underlying interests that have fomented conflict and give Congolese civil society a voice at the table to discuss critical internal reforms. The process should also not be a place to extend immunity from prosecution for those who have committed war crimes and mass atrocities. Accountability should be ensured throughout, particularly as it relates to bringing the leadership of M23, including Bosco Ntaganda, to justice, as well as other perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The U.N. Framework establishes several critical commitments that must be addressed in regional talks in order to achieve success.  It will be incumbent upon the U.N. envoy to operationalize the implementation of the Framework’s commitments. 

The Framework’s language regarding economic integration should be operationalized through regional negotiations to establish a series of agreements around infrastructure and conflict-free investment priorities. Security measures should also be negotiated to address cross-border threats such as the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, or FDLR, and spoiler elements of the M23 rebel group. 

More specifically, violent contestation over the control of the illicit trade in natural resources remains a principal driver of conflict. Already, the profits from the illegal trade in minerals have decreased as a result of market reforms such as the Dodd-Frank legislation on conflict minerals, which has caused the price of the illicitly smuggled minerals tin, tantalum, and tungsten to be one-third the price of conflict-free minerals.  Negotiating agreements that will allow for the expansion of the existing conflict-free trade will benefit all regional states.  Agreements would be most beneficial around the following:  tariff reform, mineral certification monitoring, investment code revision, the formation of specialized economic zones, and transparent concession-bidding processes to incentivize long-term, conflict-free investment in natural resources.

One of the starting points could be finalizing an agreement on the development of the potentially lucrative methane gas reserves along the Congo-Rwanda border. Such an agreement could lower electricity costs for the two countries, which are approximately double those of other regional states. 

Several substantive issues raised in the Framework specific to Congo should be discussed in the institutional reform process. These include decentralization, security sector reform, mining code reform, and local reconciliation efforts. Though not mentioned in the Framework, electoral reform should also be a centerpiece of institutional reform.   

Because Congolese President Joseph Kabila faces an internal legitimacy crisis, it will be important to closely involve Congolese civil society and political parties in these reform processes, including in the holding of an impartially mediated national dialogue.  Those actors should have a prominent voice at the table.

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Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, the Enough Project focuses on crises in Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas of Africa affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough’s strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a“3P” crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. For more information, please visit www.enoughproject.org.

CNN Op-ed: Hope for an End to the World's Deadliest War

M23 rebels withdraw from city of Goma in eastern Congo.

Early one eastern Congolese morning six months ago, Josephine was sleeping in her hut, dreaming about selling her crops. She heard people singing victory songs, thinking it was part of her dream, but gunshots jolted her awake.   Read More »

Issue Brief: Intelligence Needs in the Hunt for the LRA

With operations by the Lord’s Resistance Army spanning several countries and swaths of dense jungle, hunting down the rebels requires excellent real-time intelligence—something long deficient in the efforts to bring the LRA to an end. In a new issue brief published by the Enough Project, LRA analyst. Ashley Benner, offers six reasons why intelligence about the LRA is difficult to collect and suggests six ways that the U.S. could address this challenge.  Read More »

Intelligence Needs in the Hunt for the LRA

Current efforts to end the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA, including the deployment of U.S. military advisors to East and Central Africa, are unlikely to succeed if they are not accompanied by substantial diplomatic, military, logistical, and intelligence support. This series of LRA issue briefs describes the main obstacles to success and explains what steps the United States and its partners should take in their efforts to end the LRA threat.

Troops from the Central African Republic stand guard at a building.

Open Letter to the President: Critical Steps for Obama's Second-Term

President Obama speaks at an event.

As President Obama sets off on his new four-year term, the Enough Project delivered an open letter to the president outlining critical steps that the U.S. government should take to address the conflicts in the Sudans, between Sudan and South Sudan, in eastern Congo, and in areas impacted by the Lord's Resistance Army.  Read More »

Open Letter to President Obama

In an open letter to the President, Enough Project Co-founder John Prendergast and Executive Director John C. Bradshaw offer specific policy recommendations for Congo, the Sudans and the Lord's Resistance Army.

President Obama is sworn in for second term in the Blue Room.

Leverage: The Missing Ingredient in the Peace Process in the Congo

Right now, only the groups who can either buy or bully their way into the discussion are participating in peace talks for eastern Congo. In a policy brief released today, the Enough Project's Aaron Hall and I identify incentives and coercive economic and diplomatic tools that can be used to bring the necessary parties to the negotiation table in a mindset where they are willing to make the difficult decisions necessary to forge a lasting peace.  Read More »

Coordinated International Leverage: The Missing Element from Congo's Peace Process

Editor's note: This paper is the final installment in the Enough Project's three-part series on the process, substance, and leverage necessary to create a path toward a viable peace in eastern Congo and the wider region.

President Joseph Kabila of DRC

U.S. and U.N. Must Apply Coordinated Leverage to Ensure Successful Congo Peace Process

Date: 
Feb 12, 2013

UNDER EMBARGO UNTIL: Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 12:01 a.m. Eastern

Contact: Tracy Fehr, tfehr@enoughproject.org, +1-202-459-1219

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. and U.N. must appoint senior-level envoys to lead the international community in applying incentives and deterrents necessary to bring all regional stakeholders to the table, and ensure they reach a final agreement addressing long-term drivers of conflict in eastern Congo, argues a new Enough Project paper.

The paper contends that the U.S. and U.N. should use their diplomatic and economic leverage to persuade regional stakeholders, including the governments of Rwanda and Uganda, to constructively participate in the peace process. It suggests that the U.S. apply coercive measures such as the threat of sanctions on Rwandan and Ugandan officials aiding the M23, as well as supporting the continued delay and potential cancellation of World Bank funds to Rwanda.

Enough Project Executive Director John C. Bradshaw said:

“The international community must use a carefully calibrated combination of carrots and sticks to get key regional actors to the negotiating table.  The U.S. can help lead this process by appointing a presidential envoy who could lead the international community in garnering the political will needed to apply a balanced leverage package.  A durable and long-term solution will require concessions from all stakeholders.”

The paper outlines specific economic and diplomatic tools that the U.S. and U.N. could use to get each of the essential actors—Rwanda, Congo, Uganda, M23, and local leaders in eastern Congo—to the table.  The paper specifies, however, that M23 inclusion must be accompanied by coercive preconditions.

Enough Project Associate Director of Research and co-author of the paper Aaron Hall said:

“The Congo peace process must be inclusive of civil society stakeholders to ensure that a final agreement is reached that addresses the region’s chronic drivers of conflict—poor governance and inadequate political representation.  A combination of increased commitment by local, regional, and international actors to reach a long-term solution is imperative to ending the deadly cycle of violence in eastern Congo.”

This is the final paper in an Enough Project’s three-part series about the process, substance, and leverage necessary to create a path toward a viable peace in eastern Congo and the wider region.

Read the full paper: “Coordinated International Leverage: The Missing Element from Congo’s Peace Process

Read the other two papers in the series: “‘What Is Not Said Is What Divides:’ Critical Issues for a Peace Process to End the Deadly Congo War” and “A Broadened Peace Process Is Needed in Congo

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The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change. To learn more about Enough, go to www.enoughproject.org.

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