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

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid