Great Lakes Region
The Ministers welcomed the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region to be held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in November 2004 to establish a comprehensive regional framework for peace and security, democracy, governance, economic development, regional integration, humanitarian and social issues.
The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the implementation of Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement and other relevant agreements to ensure that security concerns of countries in the Great Lakes region are addressed. They called upon the international community to disarm and demobilize genocidal forces and other negative forces as stipulated in Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement and other relevant agreements.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Ministers reiterated their support for the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement of 10 July 1999 as a negotiated framework for arriving at a peaceful settlement of the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as their support for all the subsequent agreements aiming to promote peace and stability in the Great Lakes Region.
The Ministers welcomed the establishment of the Transitional Government in June 2003 and urged all Congolese parties to remain fully committed to the peace process of the Global and All-Inclusive Agreement of 01 April 2003, to abstain from any action that could endanger the unity of the transitional Government and to respect the Government of National Unity and Transition, as the sole legitimate governing authority in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They called upon all the parties to refrain from resumption of hostilities, and to respect the aspirations of the entire Congolese people for peace, stability and national reconciliation.
The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to, and respect for the national sovereignty, political independence, territorial integrity and unity of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In that regard, they urged all neighbouring countries not to interfere in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, neither disrupt the peace and transition process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including through military support for armed groups.
The Ministers called on the Governments of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda to respond without delay to the Secretary-General of the United Nations efforts to establish, as soon as possible, a joint verification mechanism for their common security, including verification of cross-border movements.
The Ministers welcomed the initiatives of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union aimed at facilitating the successful conclusion of the peace process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Ministers reaffirmed that the ARUSHA peace and reconciliation Agreement signed on August 28, 2000 under the auspices of former President Nelson Mandela whom they commended for his tremendous contribution remains the basic reference of the Burundi peace process. The noted with appreciation the role played by the mediation led by