Heads of State from Rwanda, DR Congo, Uganda and Angola on Wednesday October 7, held a regional virtual summit to discuss peace, security, diplomatic and political relations, among others.
According to a post-summit communique, the summit offered the Heads of State the opportunity to discuss subjects of common interest seeking to strengthen relations and create stability in the Great Lakes sub-region.
Among the key subjects that were discussed at the summit include:
1. The security situation in the Great Lakes sub-region
The Heads of State of the four countries reviewed the security situation in the Great Lakes sub-region. This saw them review the Addis Ababa Framework Agreement of February 2013 which affirms the security concerns of the countries of the sub-Region-Great Lakes region.
Agreeing that there was still work to be done to eradicate negative forces and armed groups operating in the Great Lakes sub-region, the heads of state agreed to continue cooperation.
2. Cutting off armed groups’ sources of financing
Condemning the activism of negative forces and armed groups in the Great Lakes sub-region, the leaders reaffirmed their willingness to advocate for the strengthening of the capacities of existing mechanisms in the Great Lakes sub-region.
This will among other things include cutting off negative forces from sources of financing of their activities and to jointly fight against both regional and international mafia networks which contribute to the illicit exploitation and trade of natural resources in the Great Lakes sub-region.
3. Impact of Covid-19
The Heads of State discussed the harmful effects of the Covid-19 pandemic particularly the loss of human lives recorded in the Great Lakes sub-region and in the world as well as its negative impact on economies. They offered their condolences to the bereaved families, and resolved to be extra vigilant in the face of persistent threat of the pandemic in their respective countries.
4. Cross-border plan in response to Covid-19
Heads of State present resolved to set up a cross-border plan to strengthen surveillance and control measures in response to Covid-19 and other ailments with epidemic potential between the four countries. This would at the same time respect national, regional and international laws.
5. Exploration of economic opportunities
Rwanda, DR Congo, Uganda and Angola reaffirmed their determination to consolidate cooperation between States and to pursue the exploration of economic opportunities, including facilitation of cross-border trade and infrastructure to strengthen the regional integration necessary for the consolidation of peace and safety in the Great Lakes sub-region.