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Solve causes of conflicts, NGO officials say

The root causes of conflicts in Africa's Great Lakes must be solved if the region is to achieve peace, stability and development, representatives of regional NGOs recommended on Friday, at the end of a five-day conference in Arusha, Tanzania. "Also, the delegates identified as an issue of priority concern the need to revisit all peace agreement and assess their implementation; with a view to designing effective strategies and procedures for implementation of resolutions and monitoring of the implementation processes," according to a statement issued by the office of Ibrahima Fall, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in the Great Lakes. The NGOs' conference, held as part of a preparatory process for an UN-African Union international conference on the region, drew participants from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia - the core countries for the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region. Fall's office reported that the delegates recommended that feasible solutions be found to meet the challenges that hinder the region's development such as demilitarisation, demobilisation and reintegration of ex-combatants; repatriation of refugees; resettlement of internally displaced persons; economic liberation; and regional integration. "The delegates agreed further that in order to sustain and give impetus to the initiated dialogue within the civil society and across stakeholders groups; various platforms should be used to continue exchanging views," Fall's office said. The representatives agreed to build a network "or joint organ" of NGOs in the Great Lakes region in order to facilitate the process of integration of the civil society in the dialogue for peace, stability and development. Fall's office said the NGOs' recommendations would be tabled for endorsement by heads of state of the region when they meet for the first summit of the international conference on the Great Lakes from 19 to 20 November in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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