Submit this form
Home News Videos Music Photos Facebook Twitter Friends Newsletter Podcasts Mobile RSS
EU calls for revival of regional economic bloc

AMSTERDAM, 6 Dec 2005 (IRIN) - The European Union (EU) commissioner for development and humanitarian aid, Louis Michel, has called for the revival of the Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries of Africa(the Communauté Economique des Pays des Grands Lacs, or CEPGL), that collapsed in 1998 as a result of war in the region.

Michel's made his appeal on Monday while meeting with Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza who was on a four-day visit to Belgium.

"The Commissioner is encouraging the revival of the CEPGL because political conditions are ripe after transitions successfully completed in Burundi and Rwanda and the hopes raised by massive voter registration in the DRC," Amadeu Altafaj, the EU spokesman, told IRIN on Tuesday.

Burundi completed its political transition to a democratic state in September with the election of Nkurunziza as the nation's president. Before that, he was the leader of a former rebel movement, the Conseil national pour la defense de la democratie-Force pour la defense de la democratie.

Neighbouring Rwanda completed its own democratic transitional process in 2003, nine years after the genocide in which some 937,000 Tutsi and politically moderate Hutu were killed.

"The DRC remains the only fragile component, but hopes are high," Altafaj said.

To boost this regional integration body, the EU has already approved the reconstruction of a 130-km stretch of Route Nationale 12, a highway running from the northwestern town of Gitega to Muyinga in the middle of the country. The EU is also expected to provide money in early 2006 for the rehabilitation of Route Nationale 13, Altafaj said. The rebuilding of these highways, he added, was part of the EU's infrastructure aid segment of its Strategy for Africa adopted in October and due to be approved by EU heads of state in mid-December.

Nkurunziza's visit to Brussels, his first to Europe since taking office, is seen as an effort to meet development partners, foremost of which are the EU and the former colonial power, Belgium. Altafaj said the EU's development budget for Burundi for the 2003-2007 period was 227 million euro (US $266 million).

"Shortly before President Nkurunziza's visit, the EU added 10 million euro to the initial development budget for Burundi," Altafaj said.

He said Nkurunziza had sent all the positive signals that the donors were expecting of him, including the holding of free and fair elections; his woman-friendly government; and his policy priorities of education and reconciliation.

Related articles

  1. Denis Mukwege Wins Sakharov Prize 2014 (October 21, 2014)
  2. Kerry Calls on Kabila to Honor Constitution (May 4, 2014)
  3. Kerry in DR Congo for Security Talks (May 3, 2014)
  4. New DR Congo amnesty law welcomed by UN envoys (February 5, 2014)
  5. DR Congo, M23 Rebels Sign Declarations Marking End of Kampala Peace Talks (December 12, 2013)
  6. DR Congo Honors Nelson Mandela, Hero and Model for Humanity (December 6, 2013)
  7. Congo Army Takes Control of Mbuzi Hill From M23 Rebels (November 4, 2013)
  8. Kabila Congratulates Congo Army for Defeating M23 Rebels (October 30, 2013)
  9. Congo Army Dislodges M23 Rebels From Strategic Town of Kibumba (October 26, 2013)
  10. Ban Ki-moon Confirms M23 Rebels Shelled Rwanda (August 31, 2013)
  11. UN mission sets up security zone in eastern DR Congo, gives rebels 48 hour ultimatum (July 30, 2013)
  12. DR Congo Asks Rwanda to Turn Over M23 Rebel Leaders (July 26, 2013)
  13. UN Security Council debate focuses on peace efforts for Africa's Great Lakes region (July 25, 2013)
  14. U.S. Tells Rwanda to Remove Its Military Personel From Eastern Congo (July 23, 2013)
  15. M23 Rebels Kill, Rape Civilians in Eastern Congo: Human Rights Watch (July 22, 2013)
  16. UN Security Council approves intervention force to target armed groups in DR Congo (March 28, 2013)
  17. Warlord Bosco Ntaganda Turns Himself In at US Embassy in Rwanda (March 18, 2013)
  18. Regional Leaders Sign DR Congo Peace Deal (February 24, 2013)
  19. UN Security Council Condemns Latest M23 Attacks, Extends Sanctions on Rebels (November 28, 2012)
  20. UN Security Council condemns 'any and all outside support' to M23 rebels (October 19, 2012)
  21. At high-level meeting, Ban urges political solution to crisis in eastern DR Congo (September 27, 2012)
  22. DR Congo, Rwanda Sign Pact to Fight Rebels in Eastern Congo (July 15, 2012)
  23. U.S. Tells Rwanda to Stop Supporting Rebels in DR Congo (July 2, 2012)
  24. Kagame Is A Problem for The U.S. and The U.K. (June 23, 2012)
  25. Congo Government Says Bosco Ntaganda Rebels Trained in Rwanda (June 10, 2012)
  26. Tshisekedi Says He Won, Can He Prove It? (December 17, 2011)
  27. European Union to observe presidential and legislative elections (October 19, 2011)
  28. EU, DR Congo Sign Elections Funding Agreement (June 25, 2011)
  29. Kabila, Kibaki meet over smuggled gold from eastern Congo (March 6, 2011)
  30. Great Lakes Regional Summit to Focus on Congo Resource Exploitation (December 15, 2010)

Live TV Congo Radio en ligne Radio
Available on App Store
Get it on Google Play

Contact Us | About Us | Édition en Français | French Edition

© 2020 All rights reserved.