Our members in Burundi, DR Congo, and Rwanda have come together to issue a joint statement on the catastrophic security situation their region is facing. The Great Lakes network of Pax Christi International issued a statement over the weekend calling on action and delivered it to the Conférence internationale sur la région des Grands Lacs (CIRGL, International Conference of the Great Lakes Region).
The statement outlined a number of contributing factors to the recent flare up of conflict and violence. These include ineffectiveness of state authorities, impunity for perpetrators, illegal arms trade, and the presence of local and foreign armed groups that lead to the isolation of certain areas and hinders humanitarian assistance.
Heads of state in the Great Lakes region were urged to use dialogue for the resolution of conflict, invest in the development of their states and discourage political support for armed groups. Regional organisations were encouraged to bring all parties together for dialogue and facilitate peaceful meeting and movement of people and work to set up emergency humanitarian aid. Civil society organisations were also encouraged to work for peace and promote nonviolence wherever they can.