UN’s top envoy warns Great Lakes Region is ‘at a crossroads’ 

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For Mr. Xia, the main menace to bid and stableness in this region around the Great Rift Valley, remains the persistence of non-State armed groups. 

He pointed to “an upsurge successful attacks”, whether by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) successful eastbound Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), or those launched by the RED-Tabara against Bujumbura airport, successful Burundi, past September. 

Since the opening of this year, successful DRC alone, astatine slightest 1,043 civilians person been killed, including 233 women and 52 children. 

Peacekeepers from MINUSCA’s Burundian contingent connected  patrol successful  Bokengue.

“This unit continues to person superior consequences connected the already fragile humanitarian situation, arsenic good arsenic connected the socio-economic stableness of the affected area”, the Special Envoy said.  

He told the Council Members that “these antagonistic forces besides stay progressive successful the illicit exploitation and commercialized successful earthy resources, the revenues of which concern their arms procurement and recruitment.” 

Solutions 

“How to enactment an extremity to it?”, helium asked. “This is evidently an aged question that haunts anyone funny successful the region.” 

Despite the challenges, helium highlighted several bilateral and determination initiatives, saying they “attest to the emergence of a assemblage alert of the added worth of dialog and cooperation.” 

He besides noted the wide peaceful transfers of powerfulness successful the DRC and Burundi, arsenic good arsenic the signing and implementation of bid agreements successful the Central African Republic, South Sudan and the Sudan.  

For him, much than ever, “it is indispensable to sustainably consolidate these achievements portion firmly addressing the challenges that persist.” 

“The occurrence of specified an attack requires learning from the lessons of the past and showing imaginativeness to enactment the radical of the Great Lakes portion successful gathering a amended contiguous and future”, helium added. 

Turning to COVID-19, helium said the pandemic has exacerbated vulnerabilities, but besides demonstrated the resilience of the region.  

Before the pandemic, 15 cardinal people across the Great Lakes were already displaced from their homes, facing rising malnutrition and nutrient insecurity.  

Mr. Xia also reiterated the Secretary-General’s call for greater solidarity to facilitate entree to vaccines and to fortify wellness systems.  

The occurrence of specified an attack requires learning from the lessons of the past and showing imaginativeness to enactment the radical of the Great Lakes region

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), to date, lone 36 cardinal doses of the vaccine person been administered successful a portion of astir 450 cardinal people. 

UN presence 

Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee, the Assistant Secretary-General for Africa successful the Departments of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations, also briefed Council Members. 

Ms. Pobee informed that the UN is reconfiguring its beingness successful the portion to champion address the challenges, highlighting a fewer areas where the Council’s support is most needed.   

For her, the concern requires “a broad attack rooted successful enhanced governmental engagement, encompassing subject and non-military interventions, fostering economical practice crossed the borders and gathering spot between neighbours and among communities.” 

She also argued that “armed radical enactment is simply a grounds of insecurity successful the region”, and truthful “the enabling conditions should beryllium addressed upstream.” 

Among those main basal causes, she pointed retired the amerciable exploitation and determination trafficking of earthy resources, saying it contributes to the financing of armed radical networks but also “creates parallel system astatine the disbursal of States’ budgets whose revenues proceed to diminish.” 

The Executive Secretary of the International Conference connected the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), João Caholo, and a civilian nine representative also briefed the Council. 

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