Great Lakes Region
Great Lakes Region Image: Addiction Campuses

A Chinese envoy has asked the international community to help the Great Lakes region improve the security situation, enhance capacity building and address the root causes of conflict.

Maintaining peace in the Great Lakes region, which lies at the center of Africa, bears on the overall stability and development of the continent, Wu Haitao, the deputy permanent representative of the Chinese mission to the United Nations, told the Security Council on Tuesday. Since the second half of 2018, the political and security situation in the region has been improved. At the same time, the region faces many challenges, he said. Wu asked the international community to help with the maintenance of security and stability of the Great Lakes region. He called on the international community to respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the countries concerned, respect their ownership and leadership in dealing with their internal affairs and avoid interference.

Regional and subregional organizations should continue mediation so as to help the parties resolve their differences through peaceful means. The United Nations, for its part, should provide assistance in conflict prevention, good offices and peacekeeping and peacebuilding, he said. Poverty and under-development have taken a heavy toll on durable peace and stability of the Great Lakes region. The international community should honor its commitments and increase humanitarian aid and official development aid, help the internally displaced people and refugees return home and increase support and investment in health, education, connectivity and other infrastructure areas, said Wu. He also asked for efforts to promote employment of young Africans and to improve the living standards of locals.

Wu asked for international support for capacity building in the countries in the Great Lakes region. The countries lack funds and capacity in peacebuilding and in dealing with the threats of armed groups, he said. The international community should provide aid in cash and in kind as well as technical assistance, with the focus on helping the countries improve security capacity and their capabilities in natural resource management and border control, said Wu. China has always supported efforts to carry forward the peace processes in the Great Lakes region, and has actively participated in UN peacekeeping in the region.

At the same time, China has provided assistance to the region in infrastructure, agriculture and other fields, said the Chinese envoy. China is willing to work with the international community to make further contributions to the peace, stability and development of the Great Lakes region, he said.

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