Christophe Lutundula invites the AU to place the situation in eastern DRC in a security and humanitarian emergency

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 Lutundula Kinshasa, April 20th, 2022 (CPA).- The Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Christophe Lutundula, invited the African Union, through its Peace and Security Council to consider, better to place the situation in the Eastern DRC in a security and humanitarian emergency in the Great Lakes Region, in his intervention Tuesday, by videoconference at the 178th session of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union. Christophe Lutundula also asked the Board to organize an on-site visit to the DRC, to get a feel for the realities on the ground and to discuss not only with the Congolese authorities, but also, if necessary, with the local populations in order to measure the seriousness of the situation. On this occasion, he proposed some initiatives for this Council session. These include, in particular, reclassifying the situation in eastern DRC as a matter of terrorism, including on the agenda of the Summit of Heads of State to be held in Malabo, the issue of insecurity in the East of the DRC as well as to obtain from this Summit this requalification by integrating the deal of terrorism and by drawing all the consequences which flow from it. He also proposed to urgently assess the relevance of positioning the post of the Special Envoy for Peace and Security in the Great Lakes region as close as possible to the affected area, eastern DRC, in order to better mark the presence and involvement of the AU in the management and settlement of the situation in the DRC as well as to recognize that this part of the DRC is a priority area for the implementation of the post-conflict and reconstruction program of the AU in all its components, in particular Disarmament, Demobilization and Social Reintegration (DDRS). Persistence of armed groups The head of Congolese diplomacy pointed out that the security situation in eastern DRC remains marked by the persistence of local and foreign armed groups in the provinces of Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu where they massacre the civilian population and plunder the country’s natural resources. Faced with this situation, he said, the DRC has taken courageous initiatives and undertaken several actions. On many occasions, argued Christophe Lutundula, dialogues have been organized and compromises reached with the leaders of the rebel groups. Several rebels surrendered and joined the regular army, the FARDC, and resumed normal life. “Under the authority of the President of the Republic, Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, the Congolese government has signed agreements on security cooperation and partnerships with neighboring countries with a view to carrying out common and integrating economic projects so as to minimize the risks tensions and misunderstandings. It is in this context that it is necessary to situate and understand the pooling of efforts between the Republic of Uganda and the DRC as well as the targeted joint operations currently being carried out by the Ugandan army (UPDF) and the FARDC against the ADF. -MTN along their common borders”, underlined the head of Congolese diplomacy. The resurrection of M23 Deputy Prime Minister Christophe Lutundula noted that while the FARDC is working to eradicate terrorist forces, the rebel group M23, defeated since 2013, has reconstituted itself and resumed attacks on FARDC positions successively in localities. from the province of North Kivu, Tshangu, Runyonyi and Rumangabo, on January 28, then Bunangana and Ruwanguba, on March 28. For the head of the Congolese diplomacy, the resurrection of the M23 seriously begins the process of restoring peace in progress in the East and confidence between the States of the Region to which the DRC and its Head of State attach the most high interest. He said that within the framework of the East African Community to which the DRC has just joined, the file of the M23 and the armed groups in our country is under examination under the moderation of President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya. Deputy Prime Minister Christophe Lutunduala revealed that a mini-summit, bringing together the Heads of State of Burundi, DRC, Uganda and Rwanda around President Uhuru Kenyatta, will be held on April 21 in Nairobi on this subject. Declaration of the state of siege Faced with the persistence of insecurity in the east of the country and the gravity of the situation, he said, the Head of State, using his constitutional prerogatives, was led to proclaim the state headquarters in this part of the national territory in order to strengthen the conditions for maintaining public order and securing the populations in the areas of operational operations. “These operations are of fixed duration which we want to be short and must respect human rights”, he underlined in substance.