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Civil society organisations express concern about the EU’s commitment to peace in the Great Lakes Region

News Justice and peace
Democratic Republic of the Congo -

In its strategy for the Great Lakes Region, the European Union affirms that “security, stability and prosperity remains a strategic priority”. Civil society organisations, however, are noticing inconsistencies in the EU’s foreign policy. In an open letter, they express their deep concern about the escalation of violence in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

A village in North Kivu, eastern DRC.
Rutshuru, North Kivu, DRC. A UN commander talks to the villagers during a patrol. Image: MONUSCO/Force.

While the Rwandan-backed March 23 Movement advances towards Goma, the EU announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Rwanda on strategic minerals.

The revelation by the Polish head of state of an agreement to supply arms to Rwanda in case of an external attack has illustrated a policy of double standards, undermining the credibility of international institutions, particularly, that of the EU and its Member States.

The lack of coherence in the response to these crises also raises questions about the sincerity of the EU’s commitment to peace in the Great Lakes region.

That is why 17 civil society organisations and platforms are making a heartfelt plea to the High Representative of the EU and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Member States to follow their recommendations to:

Urgently appoint an EU Special Representative in the region.

Continue to publicly and firmly condemn any collusion or cooperation with armed groups active in Eastern DRC.

Condition military aid support to the Rwandan army.

Encourage the Congolese authorities to work with international partners and in close consultation with Congolese civil society.

Support the strengthening of the Congolese state presence.

Increase funding for development and humanitarian assistance for the DRC.