Kigali, 4 September 2014
President Kagame today received in his office the African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security, Amb. Smaїl Chergui. The discussions mainly focused on Peace and Security in the Great Lakes region, particularly ways to deal with FDLR, a major negative and genocidaire force that has terrorized the region for decades. The discussions also touched on the East African Standby Force (EASF) and the situation in the Central African Republic.
President Kagame also received Amb. Said Djinnit, the new UNSG Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region. Amb. Said Djinnit replaced Mary Robinson, who held the position from March 2013 before recently accepting the role of U.N. Special Envoy for Climate Change.
After the meeting, Amb. Smaїl Chergui told the press:
“I have come to share my gratitude for the contribution of Rwanda towards peace and security on the continent. We deeply appreciate the professionalism and quality of Rwandan peacekeepers. We also discussed regional peace. Peace in the region will not be achieved unless we address negative forces, in particular the FDLR. We are determined to resolve the issue of FDLR.”
Speaking to the Press after the meeting, Amb. Said Djinnit said his core responsibility in the region would be to work together with regional organizations and countries including Rwanda especially in the implementation of the Peace and Security Framework.
“There has been some significant progress over the last decade but there also some outstanding issues like the FDLR. I will be working in transparency and respect of all countries and will seek the goodwill and support of the stakeholders and demand that they take their obligations at all levels. On the issue of the FDLR, we will be guided by the decisions of the Security Council and the region which have taken a very clear position on the issue.”
The UN Envoy reiterated that the military option was still on the table, should FDLR fail to comply with the decisions of the UN Security Council and regional stakeholders.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Louis Mushikiwabo said despite the progress in resolving issues of the region peacefully, there have been invisible hands that tend to frustrate these efforts.
“We Rwandans need peace and we have worked for decades for peace and this will not stop. We will continue as a country to contribute to peace in the region and for ourselves. FDLR is not a difficult force to deal with, what is needed is political will and we are happy to receive Ambassador Djinnit who has taken over from the very able Mary Robinson and we are happy that he is a man who knows the region’s history and has been part of the African Union from the beginning.”