The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, was in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, this week to oversee the signing of a UN peace deal that would put forth the interests of the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The deal aims to bring stability to the troubled region where for many years it has suffered persistent violence by armed rebel groups that use rape as a weapon of war. 800,000 people have been displaced since May last year when the rebel M23 group took up arms against the Congolese government.
The eleven African nations including the DR Congo, Congo-Brazzaville, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, the Central African Republic, Angola, South Sudan, Tanzania and South Africa signed the accord which Mr Ban said he hoped would bring “an era of peace and stability” to the region. The agreement may also lead to the establishment of a special UN intervention brigade in the east of the country, where the main trouble is.
The DR Congo has a long history of conflict with the majority of the focus being the country’s mineral wealth. Surrounding countries, Congolese armed groups and some even say, the government, have all profited from the riches made from gold and other minerals with little to nothing being spent on the infrastructure of the country.
The president of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, was present at the signing. He said, “A heavy burden of responsibility falls on the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its neighbours. Theirs is the historic task of freeing the people of the DRC and the region from tortuous history of conflict and instability, and to introduce a new future offering democracy, peace, stability progress and prosperity.”