The United Nations Secretary-General announced yesterday that the new UN Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region will be senior Algerian diplomat Said Djinnit, replacing Mary Robinson. His mandate is focused on peace and security in the D.R. Congo and the region. The Enough Project warmly welcomes Ambassador Djinnit in his new appointment.
Enough Project Senior Policy Analyst Sasha Lezhnev said: "Ambassador Said Djinnit can be a boon to peace in eastern Congo, as his senior-level negotiating experience in Africa on security issues has earned him the respect of regional leaders, and as he will be based full-time in the region. Ambassador Djinnit should first focus on firm 3-month benchmarks for progress on the disarmament of the deadly FDLR rebel group, which remains a major obstacle to regional peace."
Enough Project Founding Director John Prendergast said: "The appointment of Ambassador Djinnit is an excellent choice given his strong regional background and the wide respect he enjoys from African leaders. Going forward, Ambassador Djinnit should work closely with Angolan President Dos Santos to broaden the agenda of the regional peace process to include economic cooperation and war crimes accountability. In addition, he should establish a civil society feedback mechanism to incorporate their input, including women's voices, into the heads-of-state peace process."
Enough Project Policy Associate Holly Dranginis said: "Mary Robinson made it a priority to listen to women in the Great Lakes, support them, and understand their ideas and demands in the context of this region's peace process. Special Envoy Djinnit should take care to carry on that work and ensure that momentum for women's empowerment and inclusion in the region is not lost in this transition."
Enough Project Field Researcher Fidel Bafilemba said: "The FDLR is the main bottleneck for peace restoration in eastern Congo and the region at large. The FDLR cannot be given a leash to reorganize, and must be treated with strong measures as was the M23, otherwise the people of eastern Congo will continue to bear the brunt of the FDLR's brutality. Definitively resolving the FDLR is the greatest difference Said Djinnit can make to the Great Lakes crisis."
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Greg Hittelman, Communications Director, +1 310-717-0606, gh@enoughproject
The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change. To learn more: www.enoughproject.org.