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Ten African presidents to attend Great Lakes region summit
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2006-12-13 13:52
Ten African heads of state, including newly elected Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)President Joseph Kabila, are expected to attend the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, organizers said on Tuesday.

    

George Ola Davies, the spokesman of the UN Secretariat of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region said the Nairobi summit would be President Kabila's first trip outside his country after winning a bruising second round battle with his rival Jean Pierre Bemba.

    

Ola Davies said 10 heads of state had so far confirmed their participation in the meeting which would discuss regional approaches in building sustainable peace in the region ravaged by civil wars and diseases.

    

The two-day summit scheduled for Thursday and Friday is expected to be attended by presidents of Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, DRC, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

    

The Republic of Congo President Denis Sassou Nguesso has confirmed that he will not attend and will send a representative ,said Ola Davies by telephone.

    

The leaders are also expected to sign a pact designed to bring peace, stability and prosperity to countries long troubled by civil wars and conflicts with each other.

    

In the pact are projects, programs of action and protocols, which have been negotiated over the past two years by the governments and peoples of the 11 countries taking part in th International Conference on the Great Lakes Region.

    

The Great Lakes region has been ravaged by bloody conflicts in the recent past. Burundi has been battered by civil war since 1993and Rwanda by genocide in 1994. Civil war has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives in the DRC.

    

Hopes for a more stable period have been raised by elections in Burundi in August 2005 and in the DRC, where a peace process culminated in elections in June and October.

    

"The pact is aimed at transforming the vision of the region as a space of sustainable peace and security into concrete and achievable programs of action," said Ola Davies.

    

The pact, comprising several legally binding protocols as well as programs of action, will shape how countries in the region relate in terms of peace and security; democracy and governance; economic development and regional integration; as well as humanitarian and social issues.

    

The five-day meeting which aimed at enhancing peace, security and development in Africa's Great Lakes region kicked off in Nairobi on Monday.

Source:Xinhuanet 
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