27 February 2013

New DR Congo Peace Deal Garners Mixed Reactions

There is a new peace deal in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. However, the outlook is mixed.

11 countries (DRC, Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia) signed onto the deal at the EU headquarters in Ethiopia.

The Central African coalition agreed to provide support, including 2,500 troops, to stabilize a country that has been beset by conflict for decades.


It’s not stable yet, and many are uncertain if this negotiated deal will accomplish much.
Secretary General Ban ki-Moon used his remarks at the signing to announce the imminent appointment of a special envoy and stressed the importance and his optimism for a solution. “The situation in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo must remain a top priority on the international agenda,” he said. “It is my earnest hope that the Framework will lead to an era of peace and stability for the peoples of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Great Lakes region.”

A cautious sentiment was taken by the UN mission head in North Kivu, Alex Queval, who told Al Jazeera, ”I think it would be wrong to have too great expectations because the situation here is very difficult. The conflict has been going on for at least 19 years, so it’s not going to be solved overnight, but I definitely think that this approach can be a new beginning.”

Academic Laura Seay took a more pessimistic stance about the outlook of the peace deal. In aTwitter interview with Mark Goldberg of the UN Dispatch, she explained why. Goma still remains vulnerable to capture by M23 and the plan requires support from the regional players.

“There’s little reason to believe that Rwanda will actually stop funding M23 or stay out. History suggests otherwise,” she tweeted.

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