Congo president calls for cross-border action to tackle DR Congo crisis

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President of Congo Republic Denis Sassou Nguesso has called for a regional action to mitigate the escalating crisis in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

Photo credit: Africa News

By: Ismail Akwei / The Dawn News / October 20, 2017

He expressed concern on Thursday when he hosted the summit of Heads of State and Government of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) in Brazzaville as the incoming chairperson.

“We need a concerted and cross-border action to tackle the crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo which is very worrying,” he said.

“During my tenure as the head of the Conference, I will create the necessary conditions for dialogue to give a new impetus to the return of peace in the Great Lakes region,” he added.

The region is facing protracted conflicts. The DR Congo is politically tensed after the extension of the presidency of Joseph Kabila due to the inability to hold presidential elections.

His mandate ended in December 2016 but the electoral commission says it is not ready to hold elections until April 2019.

The tension is also worsened by militia attacks in the eastern part of the country as well as sectarian violence in the south.

Among the issues facing the ICGLR is the instability in the Central African Republic, South Sudan; and the election crisis in Kenya.

The meeting was attended by the embattled president of the troubled DR Congo Joseph Kabila, Angolan president Joao Lourenco, Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, Faustin-Archange Touadera of the Central African Republic and Edgar Lungu of Zambia.

The 7th summit which covered the political and security situation in the region was held under the theme “Fast-Tracking Implementation of the Pact to Facilitate Stability and Development in the Great Lakes Region”.

The organisation founded in 2000 to ensure peace in the region consists of twelve member states including Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, Republic of South Sudan, Sudan, and Tanzania.

Sassou Nguesso who was handed the chairperson role by Angola’s Joao Lourenco will chair the Conference in the next four years.

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