Painting by Cheri Samba

Lokuta eyaka na ascenseur, kasi vérité eyei na escalier mpe ekomi. Lies come up in the elevator; the truth takes the stairs but gets here eventually. - Koffi Olomide

Ésthetique eboma vélo. Aesthetics will kill a bicycle. - Felix Wazekwa

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Framework Agreement: More questions than answers

If all goes well, eleven heads of state (or their delegates) will gather in Addis Ababa to sign the snazzily-titled: "Peace, Security, and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region" (PSCFDRCR?)

What can we expect for this framework? An early copy I have seen suggests that it provides more questions than answers, although it does raise hope and expectations. (The copy is here.)

The two-and-a-half page deal rests on two pillars: Reforming the Congolese state, and ending regional meddling in the Congo. It then creates two oversight mechanism to make sure the eleven signatories take these imperatives seriously, with four organizations (UN, AU, ICLGR, SADC) as guarantors. As such, it marks an improvement in engagement in the conflict: there is a recognition that violence in the Kivus is deeply linked to national and regional developments, and it allows for neutral arbiters to hold the signatories accountable. Perhaps most importantly, we now have the formal involvement of the UN and a bunch of other eminent organizations in an official deal, which should mean there will be follow-up at the highest level.

So is this a peace process? I have often complained that, while violence has escalated over the past years in the Kivus, the last genuine peace process––with comprehensive peace deal, a strong mediation, and good donor coordination in support––ended in 2006. So are we back in a peace process?

Not really. Or more precisely: we don't know yet. The agreement is more a statement of principles than a concrete action plan. And some of the principles seem to make that action plan difficult. For example, the oversight mechanism for Congolese state reform that in early drafts of the agreement included civil society and donors is now only made up of the Congolese government––donors merely provide support to the government, and civil society is not mentioned at all. So will a Congolese government that has hitherto been reluctant to reform its institutions be able to oversee itself?

On the regional mechanism, as well, details are lacking. It merely says: "A regional oversight mechanism involving these leaders of the region...shall be established to meet regularly and review progress in the implementation of the regional commitments outlined above, with due regard for the national sovereignty of the States concerned." No mention of how we are supposed to know whether Rwanda or Uganda are providing aid to the M23, or if the Congo has renewed ties with the FDLR, for example. 

One of the gaping silences of the agreement is on armed groups, the reason this august assembly was called in the first place. What of the ICGLR talks in Kampala with the M23? What about other armed groups? No mention of whether the Congolese government will engage in talks, or whether the UN or anyone else should mediate––leaving in suspense the ailing Kampala negotiations. The document does mention deferentially the ICGLR on several occasions, probably as an indication that this new process will not automatically supplant existing ones.

Finally, the facilitation, which was initially supposed to be given to the United Nations, through the offices of a new special envoy, has now been converted into four guarantors: the AU, ICLGR, SADC, and the UN. It is unclear from this deal who among these four will take the lead. If the proof of this process is in the pudding, will too many cooks spoil the recipe?


congo man said...

We shouldn't expect anything from this agreement.after 2 decades and many failed peace deals and agreements I think everyone who have been following this region understands that Rwanda will never respect any accord that they sign.the Rwandan dictator and war criminals who run that Country will never stop at anything in their quest of destabilizing the DRC in order to plunder it's vast mineral wealth.the only solution to this problems is the military one.a strong military action has to be taken against the m23 terrorists and other terror groups operating in that region ,the international Community shall place strong sanctions on the Rwandan dictator and his Junta .MONUSCO shall also Use surveillance and armed drones to monitor and confront terrorists activities on the Rwanda-DRC boarder.this Adis Ababa agreement will never bring peace to that region.

Unknown said...


-Vu la recrudescence de l’insécurité à l’Est de la RDC;

-Vu la responsabilité de Kigali dans cette tragédie congolaise par ses multiples aggressions,infiltrations,instrumentalisations et diverses formes de manipulations visant l’annexion totale ou partielle de notre territoire afin de s’approprier de nos richesses;

-Vu l’échec des solutions hypocrites proposées par diverses initiatives tant nationales,régionales qu’internationales;

le Front Patriotique pour la Libération du Congo,FPLC en sigle,informe le public de ce qui suit:

-les négociations de Kampala entre le Gouvernement de Kinshasa et la rébellion du M23 ne sont qu’une farce au profit des prédateurs de la guerre qui n’apportera aucune solution au conflit;

-la nouvelle initiative des pays de la SADC sous un mandat spécifique onusien est louable.Cependant,elle ne tardera pas de montrer ses limites à cause de la lenteur ou la mauvaise volonté de certaines puissances- grands décideurs au sein de l’ONU, de laisser la RDC jouir de sa totale indépendence;

-même si les frontières rwando-congolaises seraient controlées pour stopper les infiltrations de Kigali,rien n’empêcherait le Président KAGAME de destabiliser la RDC par le biais de ses hommes qu’il a pu soit intégrer dans l’Armée congolaise,soit disseminer dans différents groupes armés qu’il a lui-même formé ou noyauté,ce qu’il continue de faire même aujourd’hui.

-Eu égard à ce qui précède,le Front Patriotique pour la Libération du Congo(FPLC):

1. Recommande à l’ONU de considérer les vrais problèmes de la RDC afin d’y apporter la solution adaptée,globale et définitive pour lui permettnre de jouir de sa souveraineté comme d’autres pays du reste du monde;

2. Invite les grandes puissances mondiales en compétiton pour les richesses congolaises,à privilégier les relations fondées sur le partenariat et non sur l’impérialisme néo-colonialiste pour ne pas être jugés plus tard par l’histoire au détriment de leurs peuples;

3.Assure ses compatriotes et le monde entier que lorsque les forces vives de la nation dont il fait parti seront aux commandes du pays,la porte sera grandement ouverte à tout investisseur dans le respect de la loi de la concurrence et de la transparence;

4.Renouvelle son attachement à la lutte politico-militaire,réaffirme sa détermination à ne pas désarmer aussi lontemps que la RDC continuera d’être théâtre de violences importées de l’étranger,appelle tous les Congolais ainsi que les hommes de bonne volonté à se joindre à lui dans cette noble campagne pour libérer la RDC,et enfin promet sa coopération à toute initiative capable d’apporter la paix dans le respect du droit et du peuple congolais.

Fait à Goma,le 20 Avril 2013

Général Gad NGABO,Président du FPLC

Unknown said...


-Given the upsurge of insecurity in eastern DRC;
-Given the responsibility of Kigali in the Congolese tragedy by its multiple aggressions, infiltrations, exploitations and various forms of manipulation for the total or partial annexation of our territory to take ownership of our wealth;
-Given the failure of the proposed hypocrite solutions by various national, regional and international initiatives;
The Patriotic Front for the Liberation of Congo, FPLC in acronym inform the public of the following: The Kampala negotiations between the Kinshasa government and the rebellion of the M23 are a joke for the benefit of predators of the war which will bring no solution to the conflict;
-The new initiative of SADC countries under a specific UN mandate is to welcoming.

However, it will soon reach its limits because of slowness or bad will of some big powers-makers within the UN, to let the DRC enjoy its total independence.
-Even if the Rwandan and Congolese borders would be controlled to stop infiltration of Kigali, nothing would prevent the President KAGAME to destabilize the DRC through his men he has managed either to integrate into the Congolese Army, or to spread in various armed groups that he himself formed or infiltrated, situation which goes on even today.
-Having regard to the foregoing, the Patriotic Front for the Liberation of CONGO (FPLC):
1. Recommends to the UN to consider the real problems of the DRC in order to bring adapted, global and final solution for the enjoyment of its sovereignty like other countries of the world;
2. Invites world powers in competition for the Congolese wealth to privilege the relationship based on partnership and not the neo-colonial imperialism for to be not judged later by history at the expense of their people;
3. Assure his countrymen and the world that when the forces of the nation to which he belongs will be in control of the country, the door will be wide open to any investor in respect of the law of competition and transparency.
4. Renew its attachment to the political and military struggle, reaffirm its determination to not disarm as long as the DRC will continue to be theater of violence imported from abroad ,appeal all Congolese and benefactors as well to join him in this noble campaign for the liberation of DRC, and finally promises its cooperation to any initiative that can bring peace in compliance with the law and the Congolese people.

Done in GOMA, April 20, 2013

General NGABO Gad, President of the FPLC

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