On Peace, Security, and DevelopmmentDonald Yamamoto, Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs
Remarks to the United Nations
New York, New York
January 27, 2006
The United commends you, Madam President, and your government of Tanzania for your important work on the resolution on peace, security and development in the Great Lakes region. The United States applauds the critical work of the peace and security council of the African Union and we share with the United Nation’s new peace building commission a commitment to realizing sustained political and economic development for fragile states.
We stand in solidarity with Ambassador Swing, General Guy and General Kammeret and the men and women who courageously and heroically serve with the MONUC. To the people of Guatemala and the families of the Guatemalan forces who paid the ultimate sacrifice, our prayers and condolences and most of all our gratitude to their sacrifices and for their brave service. We also honor those innocent victims of violence in the Great Lakes. Each and every day innocent Congolese, Rwandans, Burundians and Ugandans are paying the ultimate sacrifice.
We deplore the violence and condemn the hostilities of the FDLR, the LRA, FNL and other negatives forces and militias operating in the Great Lakes region. For over a decade the FDLR has committed atrocities, as have the LRA, FNL and other negative forces. Madam President, how many more years must the region live with these constant threats, how much longer must we stand witness to such horrors.
We stand in witness to the devastation and human suffering caused by these negative forces, armed groups and militias. Over 425, 000, yes, over 425,000, madam President, have become refugees and a greater number are internally displaced persons. This underscores the unfinished task which lies before all of us to face in the Great Lakes region.
The United States commends in the highest terms the governments and people of Burundi, the DRC, Rwanda and Uganda for their faith, trust, dedication and commitment to work together in the tripartite plus commission. Each of these four countries are making a difference and preparing a for more secure and prosperous Great Lakes region. We also wish to express our appreciation for the support from our colleagues with the African Union, European Union and United nations for the work of the Tripartite Commission.
Let me underscore to this Council the commitment of the United States to the goal of peace and security in the Great Lakes and for all of Africa. We call on this body, on each of you, to continue to invigorate leadership and cooperation in the Great Lakes to ensure that there will be a peaceful and secure Congo after elections of a new government this year…that there will be a vibrant Burundi…that there will be support for the struggles against negative forces that Rwanda faces daily…and that there will be support for Uganda against equally dangerous challenges posed by negative forces. We must also all work together to meet the needs of the suffering refugees and IDPs in the Great lakes.
Madam President, let us all come together and renew vows and dedicate our efforts to face these endeavors.
Released on March 21, 2006