Tuesday, 30 April 2013

UN Great Lakes envoy Robinson to visit Rwanda


Robinson is expected in the country tomorrow. Net photo.
The newly-appointed United Nations envoy to the Great Lakes Region of Africa Mary Robinson is expected to arrive in Rwanda on Wednesday, UN officials have confirmed.

Robinson was appointed by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last month and she intends to embark on bolstering support for a recently agreed UN-mediated accord she has described as “a framework for hope” aimed at ending decades of conflict and instability in DR Congo.

In an e-mail to this paper, UN Resident Coordinator Lamin Manneh said Robinson is expected in Rwanda tomorrow and that she will meet government officials as well as representatives of international and local NGOs.

Her stop in Rwanda is part of a seven-day trip that will also take her to DR Congo, Uganda, Burundi, South Africa and Ethiopia.

Information from the UN Media department indicates that Robinson kicked off her Great Lakes tour from Kinshasa yesterday.

Currently, the UN Mission in DR Congo maintains close to 20,000 peacekeepers but they have been accused of maintaining a friendly relationship with top commanders of genocidal group, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, whose members are largely responsible for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Monusco has also previously been accused of sexually abusing Congolese women.

However, a key step in recent efforts by regional leaders was the adoption in February of the UN-brokered “Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for DR Congo and the region.”

A recent paper issued by Robinson’s office summarising the accord read; “This agreement represents an avenue of hope for the people of the region to build stability by addressing the root causes of the conflict and fostering trust between neighbours. Together, the governments and international organisations concerned, donors and peoples of the region can give hope of real change–of a true peace dividend–which provides peace, security and progress for all.”

Robinson plans to initiate discussions with leaders and officials from the region on how to translate the agreement into tangible actions and cooperation to end the recurrent cycles of crisis and suffering in eastern DR Congo.


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