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

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid