News / Africa

UN Security Council to Visit Africa Great Lakes Region

FILE - The United Nations Security Council in session in New York.
FILE - The United Nations Security Council in session in New York.
Margaret Besheer
A delegation from the U.N. Security Council is heading to Africa to visit the volatile Great Lakes Region and discuss implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework Agreement signed in February, aimed at stabilizing the region.
 
The U.N. Security Council delegation leaves Thursday on a trip that will take them to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Uganda and Ethiopia.
 
Their first stop is the DRC, where the ambassadors will meet in Kinshasa with President Joseph Kabila. Then they will travel to Goma, in eastern Congo, not far from where the Congolese army has clashed repeatedly with rebel group M23.
 
The U.N. has about 20,000 peacekeepers in Congo, including a new element, called an “Intervention Brigade.”  The brigade consists of 2,500 special offensive forces tasked with eliminating the threat from rebel groups which terrorize civilians in that part of the country.
 
In Goma, the ambassadors will meet the governor of North Kivu and visit a camp for internally displaced persons.
 
They will continue to Kigali to meet with Rwandan President Paul Kagame. They will also visit the Gisozi Genocide Memorial Site and a demobilization center for ex-combatants.
 
The delegation's final stop in the Great Lakes will be a meeting with President Yoweri Museveni in Entebbe, Uganda.
 
Critical time for mission

British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, who is co-heading the mission, said the Security Council's visit comes at a significant time in the region.
 
“It is actually quite an important moment to be going because of all the sort of new developments in the region with MONUSCO, the intervention brigade, the use of UAVs, the regional peace framework, the Kampala talks, etc.," he said. "It is an important moment for the Security Council to be able to monitor how that process is developing, how MONUSCO is responding in this new environment, and to put a little bit of pressure on all the governments clearly to come together and resolve some of these issues.”
 
The last leg of the visit will be to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where the delegation will meet with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and with the African Union Peace and Security Council.
 
The AU plans to hold a summit in Addis on October 10 to discuss the work of the International Criminal Court, or ICC.  Specifically, some states are upset at what they view as the court's targeting of African leaders in its work.
 
The ICC has charged Kenya's president and vice president with orchestrating post-election violence in that country in 2007 and 2008 that killed more than 1,100 people.  Kenya has threatened to withdraw as a member of the court and is urging other African countries to do the same.
 
Human Rights Watch's Director of International Justice, Richard Dicker, said he hopes U.N. Security Council members whose countries are signatories to the ICC treaty will discuss the matter with relevant officials.
 
“I hope that those Council members who are part to the Rome Treaty of the ICC convey to AU Commission officials, as well as any diplomats from AU member states that they meet, the strong commitment of those Security Council state parties to maintain the integrity and universality of the ICC," he said. "I hope there [are] some bilateral exchanges that take place, even if this is not an item on the official agenda.”
 
Thirty-four African countries currently belong to the ICC.  A mass withdrawal would be a blow to the court, but analysts see that outcome as unlikely.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

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