Sunday, November 21, 2004

 

Historic peace accord signed

This is amazing, but like I said, I'm always sceptical. In my experience, things like this never actually have any staying power, but I'm still also always hopeful that it'll work.

Fifteen African presidents pledge peace in Great Lakes
Sat Nov 20, 7:01 AM ET

DAR ES SALAAM (AFP) - Fifteen African presidents and UN chief Kofi Annan signed a common declaration pledging to promote peace and security in the continent's volatile Great Lakes region.

The declaration calling for the region's transformation into a area of "sustainable peace and security, of political and social stability, of shared growth and development" was signed at a landmark conference in Dar es Salaam.

The signatories were 14 presidents from the Great Lakes region, as well as Annan and Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo attending in his capacity as African Union chairman.

On Friday, the first day of the conference, Annan called on the presidents to widen the declaration into a global peace accord for the Great Lakes.

The region notably includes the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which has hardly known peace and stability since its independence in 1960; Rwanda, whose 1994 genocide caused repercusions that are still felt to this day; Burundi, which is struggling to emerge from 11 years of civil conflict; and Uganda, the north of which has been ravaged by a rebel conflict since the mid 1980s.

Attending the conference were the presidents of these countries as well as of South Africa, the Republic of Congo, Uganda, the Central African Republic, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania.

Another conference of Great Lakes leaders is scheduled to be held in June next year to see how Saturday's declaration can be implemented and to lay the groundwork for a stronger pact between the region's states.

The Dar es Salaam summit was due to close Saturday.

Yahoo! News - Fifteen African presidents pledge peace in Great Lakes

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