Representatives of the countries of the Great Lakes region meet in Nairobi to review the security situation and to prepare for the forthcoming 10th Regional Oversight Mechanism summit in Kinshasa

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The Technical Support Committee of the Regional Oversight Mechanism of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Great Lakes region held its 26th meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, on 3-4 February 2020.

Discussions on the agenda included an update on the status of repatriation of disarmed foreign combatants, from eastern DRC, where many illegal armed groups have established their bases. During the meeting, representatives of the Great Lakes women, youth, and civil society made a presentation on the 2020-2021 action plan. The Committee also reviewed the preparations for the Great Lakes Investment and Trade Conference scheduled to take place in Kigali, Rwanda, on 18-20 March this year, as well as the progress on efforts to strengthen justice and good governance and to promote judicial cooperation.

On their second day, participants reviewed preparations for the 10th meeting of the Regional Oversight Mechanism, which will be attended by Heads of State and Government in Kinshasa, DRC, on 24 February, hosted by President Félix Tshisekedi.

The two-day meeting took place on the heels of a meeting of chiefs of Intelligence and Security Services from Burundi, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda, and Tanzania. The experts exchanged about security developments in the region, as well as confidence-building measures and security cooperation. They reiterated the need for non-military measures to support the eradication of negative forces in the Great Lakes region.

The Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for the Great Lakes region, Huang Xia, who co-chaired the Technical Support Committee meeting called on all stakeholders to redouble efforts to implement the Framework Agreement.

The Guarantor institutions to the Framework agreement, namely the United Nations (UN), the African Union (AU), the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) are co-members of the Regional Oversight Mechanism.

Delegates at the regional summit will review political and security developments in the region, as well as progress in the implementation of the Framework agreement since their last meeting in Kampala, Uganda, on 8 October 2019. They are expected to reaffirm their commitment to fully implement the Framework agreement as an essential vehicle to address the root causes and drivers of conflict and instability in the region. The summit will also be an opportunity to galvanize support for the upcoming Great Lakes Investment and Trade Conference in Kigali. The conference is part of the regional efforts to bring economic development and progress to a region that boasts vast natural resources and productive human potential.

The role of the Office of the UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes is to lead and coordinate regional efforts in the implementation of the Framework Agreement signed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on 24 February 2013.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Office of the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for the Great Lakes region (OSESG-GL).

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