We urge the parties to continue their dialogue and remain engaged with the United Nations on completing the agreement.
A summit meeting of African Union leaders in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, has ended without the signing of a framework agreement aimed at ending the conflict in the troubled eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The United States supports the regional and international efforts being made to reach a peaceful resolution that ends the immediate crisis and addresses the root causes of instability in the region, and we urge the parties to continue their dialogue and remain engaged with the United Nations on completing the agreement.
The latest cycle of unrest in the DRC began in March of last year when General Bosco Ntaganda, sought on arrest warrants by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity, defected from the army and started a rebellion with other former members of the CNDP, a former rebel group integrated into the Congolese army in 2009. Organized as the “March 23 Movement,” or M23, the rebels seized territory in Congo’s North Kivu province and have committed war crimes including attacks on civilians, rape, and the forced recruitment of children.
The ongoing crisis threatens the stability of the broader Great Lakes Region. Countries in the region and on the U.N. Security Council are discussing ways to better protect civilian populations and to disarm and neutralize the numerous armed groups operating in the vast, heavily forested areas of the eastern DRC. We urge all parties to work together to find a peaceful and durable solution to the crisis in eastern DRC.