AFRICA/CONGO DR - The Addis Ababa Agreement greeted with suspicion by the Congolese but there is good news

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - "The Congolese people welcomed the agreement of Addis Ababa with a certain mistrust, because many other similar agreements had already been signed in the past, but with poor results," said the Network for Peace in Congo in a note sent to Fides Agency on the regional framework Agreement to end the war in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, signed on February 24 in the Ethiopian capital (Fides 25/02/2013).
"The Addis Ababa Agreement remains highly ambiguous in that it does not seem to get to the root of the problem. The important pretext of the crisis in eastern DRC is the presence on its territory, of foreign armed groups of Rwandan origin (FDLR) and Ugandan (LRA, ADF-Nalu) ".
"This presence – continues the text - reveals that even in Rwanda and Uganda there are unresolved problems, otherwise these armed groups have no reason to take refuge in eastern DRC. Probably a military operation, no matter how strong its mandate is, will not be enough. There is the need for international action so that these two States embark on a path of democratization and national reconciliation."
Another shortcoming of the Addis Ababa agreement regards the trade of natural resources. The Agreement considers "to strengthen regional cooperation, also through the deepening of economic integration, with particular attention to the issue of the exploitation of natural resources." "The principle of regional economic integration is very ambiguous, because it can be understood in the sense that a given raw material, regardless of where it is located, belongs to everyone and can be shared by all," says the Network for Peace in Congo .
Despite these limitations, the Network for Peace in Congo says that "the Addis Ababa Agreement can make a difference against previous agreements and could bring something new" in the first place because it was signed not only by the Community of the Great Lakes (ICGLR), but also by the Secretary-General of ONU and by the Presidents of the Commission of the AU, SADC and the ICGLR, as well as providing some important safeguards to ensure the territorial integrity of the DRC. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 06/03/2013)