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Sun, 24 Feb 2013 15:22 - Updated Sun, 24 Feb 2013 15:22

Angola strives for respect of DRC sovereignty and integrity


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Luanda - Angola expresses its willingness to continue to strive for the respect of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Great Lakes region States and the resolution of border disputes through negotiation, said Sunday in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), the vice-president.

Manuel Domingos Vicente was speaking on behalf of the Angolan head of State, José Eduardo dos Santos, at the signing ceremony of "cooperation agreements for peace and stability in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Great Lakes region", with the involvement of neighboring countries, regional and international communities, held this Sunday in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

He declared that the country supports the implementation of the agreement because the eradication of the factors on the basis of recurrent cycle of tension in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and in the Great Lakes in general is a long-range goal likely to stabilize in the medium term these territories.

He said he hoped the agreement is not only a diplomatic arrangement, but a serious and honest commitment of all signatories to the international community for the stabilization of the DRC and the Great Lakes, believing that the UN will provide the means necessary for the purpose.

He lamented that despite "important and courageous steps" which allowed settle disputes and substantially reduce the tension, problems continue to persist "very difficult and complex" as reflected in the prevalence of the cycles of violence in the DRC, the consequent instability of the border with neighboring countries and the high deficit of trust between States, reflecting the weakness and failure of diplomatic solutions.

According to the vice president, the crisis in the DRC and the Great Lakes region thus represents a continuous and serious challenge to the capacity to act and the credibility of African regional mechanisms, the UN and the international community in general regarding peace and security.

"However, he emphasized, States should not escape the fact that the main responsibility in the pursuit of regional peace rests with them. International community should redouble its efforts in facilitation, mediation and multifaceted assistance."

Manuel Vicente argued that the immediate and unconditional cessation of all kinds of assistance to armed groups that destabilize regional states should be the starting point of the commitment of all parties to regional peace, stressing that otherwise may be watching an escalation of hostilities with unpredictable consequences.

He said that the factors that threaten regional peace and security not only arise from the action of armed groups, since there are immense challenges of economic, social and others whose resolution may occur in the long term, in the context of regional integration.

He said that Angola believes that the stabilization of eastern DRC and total pacification of the Great Lakes region is a possible target and promises to continue to work with the countries in the region, the Africa Union and UN for a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

Manuel Vicente signed the agreement to end the recurring cycles of conflict and violence in the DRC motivated by armed groups and that has caused thousands of deaths and nearly two million displaced.

Also signed document the Presidents of the DRC, Joseph Kabila, Congo, Denis Sassou Nguesso of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, of South Africa, Jacob Zuma of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit and Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete of Tanzania.

Uganda, Central African Republic, Burundi and Zambia were represented by members of their respective governments.

The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon and the presidents of the African Union Commission, Nkosozana Dlamini Zuma, and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Armando Emilio Guebuza, as well as a representative of the International Conference of the Great Lagos, were other entities that signed the "agreement of cooperation for peace and stability in the DRC and the Great Lakes region."