Great Lakes Region
On 13 October Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region Huang Xia provided his bi-annual briefing to the Council on the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the region and other recent developments in the region. Xia announced that he had submitted a new strategy focused on preventive diplomacy, security cooperation and development to the Secretary-General on 12 October. Council members had been anxiously awaiting the strategy, which is expected to guide the work of Xia’s office for the next decade. Xia struck a positive tone and described the region as broadly stable.
On 22 April, the Council held open and closed VTC meetings on the Great Lakes Region. Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region Huang Xia briefed. According to Xia, COVID-19 has killed 131 people in the region and there have been over 4,700 cases. He expressed his worry about the lasting economic impact the virus could have on the already-weakened countries. He said his office continues to watch the upcoming elections in Burundi and the Central African Republic, while welcoming progress made to normalise relations between Rwanda and Uganda. After the closed meeting, Council members released press elements. They welcomed positive steps taken in the region to deescalate tensions and increase regional cooperation. Council members also urged closer cooperation among the region in order to defeat COVID-19. They expressed their full support to Xia and his office.
On 3 October, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region Huang Xia briefed the Council on developments in the Great Lakes Region and the Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the Region, followed by consultations. On 8 October, Council members issued a press statement on developments in the region, particularly on the DRC.
On 26 March, outgoing Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region Said Djinnit briefed the Council on the Secretary-General’s latest report on the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region. The briefing was followed by consultations.
On 10 April, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region Said Djinnit briefed the Council on the latest report on the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the Region. The meeting was followed by consultations. The Council issued a press statement on the same day, calling for further engagement to address the remaining challenges in implementation of the framework and stressing the importance of opening political space to enable the full and free participation of political parties, civil society, and the media.
On 8 December, the Council adopted resolution 2389, reaffirming that the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the Region remains an essential mechanism to achieve durable peace and stability, and inviting the Secretary-General “to assess the progress, challenges and shortcomings in the implementation of the Framework, and to present his vision, supported by concrete recommendations, to the Council in his next report”, which is due by 31 March 2018.
On 12 April, the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General to the Great Lakes Region, Said Djinnit, briefed the Council on the latest report on the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework Agreement.
On 21 March, the Council held an open debate on conflict prevention in the Great Lakes Region. Angola circulated a concept note ahead of the debate (S/2016/223). The Secretary-General, Special Envoy Said Djinnit, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security Smail Chergui and World Bank representative Vijay Pillai briefed the Council (S/PV.7653). On 31 March, the Council adopted a presidential statement on conflict prevention in the region.
On 13 March, in resolution 1804, the Council demanded that the Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda (FDLR), ex-Rwandan Armed Forces (ex-FAR)/Interahamwe and other Rwandan armed groups operating in eastern DRC—referred to in the “Nairobi Communiqué” signed between of the governments of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Rwanda on 9 November 2007—lay down their arms and submit to the Congolese authorities and MONUC for their disarmament, demobilisation, repatriation, resettlement and reintegration (DDRRR).
The Council held a ministerial-level debate on the Great Lakes region on 27 January and an Arria-style meeting with NGOs on 24 January.
The Council strengthened sanctions in the DRC and renewed the UN Mission in Burundi’s (ONUB) mandate on 21 December. On 19 December, Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland briefed the Council on Northern Uganda . He indicated that the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) constitutes a threat to regional peace and security.
A list of individuals subject to targeted sanctions in the DRC was adopted on 1 November. Earlier in the month, a Council mission visited the Great Lakes region of Africa.
The Council expanded the arms embargo to include any recipient within the territory of the DRC, and imposed a travel ban and assets freeze. The new Congolese constitution was approved by the parliament.
The Council established a Sanctions Committee and a Group of Experts on the DRC.
The Council imposed an arms embargo on armed groups in the Kivus and Ituri or those not party to the Global and All-Inclusive Agreement.
The Council authorised the Interim Emergency Multinational Force’s (IEMF) deployment.
The final act of inter-Congolese political negotiation was signed. The interim constitution was adopted, establishing a transitional government until elections.
The parties to the Inter-Congolese Dialogue signed a Global and All-Inclusive Agreement. Uganda-backed RCD-ML, RCD-N and MLC signed the Gbadolite Ceasefire Agreement with Kinshasa.
The DRC and Uganda signed the Luanda agreement on troop withdrawals.
The DRC and Rwanda signed the Pretoria agreement on troop withdrawals.
The Sun City Agreement was signed.
Rwandan and Ugandan withdrawal began.
President Laurent-Desire Kabila was killed. Son Joseph Kabila was sworn in as president.
Fighting continued, largely for natural resources, pitting government against rebels and Rwandan against Ugandan forces. The Council added Chapter VII protective powers to MONUC’s mandate.
The Council established the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC).
The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, Namibia, Rwanda, Uganda and Zimbabwe signed the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement, later joined by Uganda-backed MLC and Rwanda-backed RCD.
Insurgents backed by Rwanda and Uganda rose up against President Laurent-Desire Kabila as he attempted to sack Tutsi elements from the government. Kabila was assisted by Katangese Mayi-Mayi, Rwandan, Ugandan and Burundian militias. Zimbabwe, Namibia and Angola sent troops to assist the government.
Laurent-Desire Kabila, with support from Rwanda and Tutsi rebels, captured Kinshasa. He was sworn in as president. The country was renamed the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Zairian rebels asserted control over much of the eastern provinces.
Rwandan Hutu extremists carried out attacks against Rwanda and the civilian population of Zaire.
The Rwandan genocide took place. The aftermath displaced hundreds of thousands of Hutus into Zairian territory, including the genocidal Interhamwe militia.