African leaders sign deal to end eastern Congo conflict

ADDIS ABABA Sun Feb 24, 2013 3:31pm IST

Related Topics

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - A U.N .-mediated peace deal aimed at ending two decades of conflict in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo was signed on Sunday by leaders of Africa's Great Lakes region in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

African leaders failed to sign the deal last month after a disagreement over who would command a new regional force that will be deployed in eastern Congo and take on armed groups operating in the region.

The Democratic Republic of Congo's army is fighting the M23 rebels, who have hived off a fiefdom in eastern Congo's North Kivu province in a conflict has dragged Congo's eastern region back into war and displaced an estimated half a million people.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and leaders from Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo Republic and South Sudan were present at the signing of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Great Lakes.

Rwanda and Uganda had been accused by U.N. experts of supporting the rebels, an accusation they denied.

"It is my hope that the framework will lead to an era of peace and stability for the peoples of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the region," Ban said.

Congo's government and the rebels are holding talks in Uganda aimed reaching an agreement on a range of economic, political and security issues dividing the two sides, including amnesty for "war and insurgency acts", the release of political prisoners and reparation of damages due to the war.

"We ... commit ourselves to respect our obligations of this agreement we signed today, and we wish that all the signatories do the same," Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila said.

The rebels, who launched their offensive after accusing Kabila of reneging on the terms of a March 2009 peace agreement, have broadened their goals to include the removal of Kabila and "liberation" of the entire Congo.

(Reporting by Aaron Maasho; Editing by George Obulutsa)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Ebola Outbreak

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Neclear Restart

Neclear Restart

Japan's Sendai nuclear restart in final stage: local governor.  Full Article 

Fight Unites

Fight Unites

Kurds' battle for Kobani unites a people divided by borders.  Full Article 

Railway Revamp

Railway Revamp

China to spend at least $33 bln on new railway lines.  Full Article 

Controversial Remark

Controversial Remark

Thousands denounce HSBC board member's likening of Hong Kong people to freed slaves.  Full Article 

Apple's Cook signals front line of new gay rights battle

Cook Speaks Up

Apple's Cook signals front line of new gay rights battle.  Full Article 

Gas Deal

Gas Deal

Ukraine, Russia, EU agree to natural gas supply deal.  Full Article 

Jerusalem Tensions

Jerusalem Tensions

Kerry urges restraint, expresses worry over tensions in Jerusalem.  Full Article 

Myanmar Roundtable

Myanmar Roundtable

Obama urges progress in Myanmar ahead of rare roundtable.  Full Article 

Active Volcano

Active Volcano

National Guard arrives in Hawaii town threatened by lava.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage