News / Africa

Great Lakes Security Accord Reviewed at AU Summit

x
Gabe Joselow
African leaders from the Great Lakes region met Sunday at the African Union summit in Addis Ababa to discuss progress bringing peace to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Security is high on the summit agenda, as is a proposal that could be a game-changer for the International Criminal Court case against Kenya’s president.

Fresh from celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the founding of the organization that would become the African Union, African leaders got down to business Sunday to address the conflicts plaguing the continent.

Members of the Great Lakes region met to discuss the progress of an agreement signed in February to end conflict in the eastern DRC.

The agreement was signed by 11 countries in the region including Rwanda and Uganda, who have both been accused of supporting rebellions in eastern Congo, a charge both countries deny.

Sunday’s meeting follows a resumption of fighting in eastern Congo between the M23 rebel movement and the Congolese army.

AU Commission chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said the overarching aim of the agreement must be to improve lives in the region.

“We must keep in mind the ultimate goal of all our interventions to allow the people of the Great Lakes to live in harmony and peace, to use the proceeds from their natural resources to build infrastructure, social services and contribute toward a shared prosperity," she said.

The agreement helped clear the way for the deployment of an intervention force made up of soldiers from Tanzania, South Africa and Malawi to be integrated into the existing U.N. peacekeeping mission.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was “deeply touched” during his recent trip to the region and that the framework is a good start, but more needs to be done to give hope to the people of eastern Congo.

"I think this framework agreement could be a landmark one, but it’s the minimum which we are doing. I think we should do more," he said.

Heads of state are considering the recommendations from the Peace and Security Council on other regional conflicts, including a peace agreement between Sudan and South Sudan, who are still trying to resolve final status issues remaining from their split in 2011.

Another agenda item is a proposal agreed by African foreign ministers and the AU executive council to ask the International Criminal Court to refer the case against Kenya’s leader back to the Kenyan courts.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto are facing separate charges of orchestrating the violence that followed the election in 2007.

The proposal to move the case has support among many African leaders who feel the ICC process unfairly targets Africans.

You May Like

Tunnel Bombs Highlight Savagery of Aleppo Fight

Rebels have used tunneling tactic near government buildings, command posts or supply routes to set off explosives; they detonated their largest bomb this week under Syria's intelligence headquarters More

Sierra Leone Launches New Initiative to Stop Ebola Spread

Government hopes Infection and Prevention Control Units, IPC, will help protect patients and healthcare workers More

UN Official: Fight Against Terrorism Must Not Violate Human Rights

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says efforts by states to combat terrorism are resulting in large scale rights violations against the very citizens they claim to defend More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boyi
X
Jeff Seldin
March 05, 2015 2:36 AM
A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960s Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More