Remarks by President Cyril Ramaphosa during the closed session on Advancing Political Dialogue and Security Cooperation in the Region, 6 May 2023

Remarks by President Cyril Ramaphosa during the closed session on Advancing Political Dialogue and Security Cooperation in the Region, 6 May 2023




Your Excellency Evariste Ndayishimiye, President of the Republic of Burundi and Chairperson of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework,

Your Excellencies, Signatory Countries to the PSC Framework,

Your Excellency, António Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations,

Your Excellency Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission,

Representatives of the Guarantors, namely the UN, African Union, the International Conference for the Great Lakes, and the Southern African Development Community,


Ladies and gentlemen,


Allow me to begin by congratulating His Excellency President Ndayishimiye on assuming the role of the Chairperson of the PSC Framework. Be assured of South Africa’s full support.


This year marks ten years since the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the Region was signed on the 24th of February 2013.


At the time, hopes were high that the signing of the Framework would usher in peace, security, stability and development for the DRC and the Great Lakes Region.


Unfortunately, a decade later, these noble goals have not been achieved.


The eastern DRC and the region remain mired in conflict and violence, being driven by armed groups that it is well-established are both Congolese and foreign.


The resurgence of the M23, an armed group that was thought to have been dismantled in 2013/2014, is even more worrying.


The current security situation in the eastern DRC requires our urgent attention. Over the past year a humanitarian catastrophe unfolded before our eyes.


To date, more than 800 000 people have been displaced by the conflict.


We cannot but be moved by their plight, and by the gross violations of human rights that are taking place. We cannot but be outraged at the scale of violence being perpetrated against women and girls, and by the blatant disregard of the provisions of international humanitarian law.


Ten years since the Framework was signed is an opportune occasion to take stock of where we are and to reflect on our successes as well as our ongoing challenges.


Actionable decisions need to be taken to address the shortcomings emanating from the Framework not being implemented. It is critical that all parties to the Framework demonstrate the highest political will and reaffirm their commitment to its successfully implementation.


South Africa fully supports the revitalisation efforts of the PSC Framework to respond to the current evolving challenges.


The focus, in our view, should be on the following:


  • addressing the root causes of the conflict and drivers of violent conflicts in the region, if we are to deepen and consolidate democracy and promote good governance.


  • Developing a comprehensive strategy to combat the illegal exploitation of mineral resources, corruption, money laundering, and transnational organised crime.


  • There needs to be greater investment in building the institutional capacity of border management and control, as well as of justice and law enforcement agencies.


  • Calling on the UN system to continue to provide capacity and technical assistance for State institutions to maintain standards of accountability with respect to gender-based violence and to strengthen legal frameworks.


  • Strengthening cooperation, coordination, and complementarity of efforts between MONUSCO, the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the EAC Regional Force.


  • Mobilising resources to support the deployment of a Regional Force to the eastern DRC under the auspices of the EAC; and strengthening MONUSCO’s capacity.


  • Countries in the region accelerating developmental initiatives that address poverty, unemployment, and inequality.


It is critical that there is harmonisation between the various initiatives aimed at addressing the situation in the DRC and the region. The PSC Framework should be the focal point all our efforts.


All the signatories and guarantors should work towards ensuring that the Regional Oversight and Ad Hoc Verification Mechanisms are fully enhanced.


We commend the facilitation efforts undertaken by the African Union and ICGLR Chair, His Excellency President João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço, in support of the implementation of the Luanda Roadmap.


We further commend the EAC Facilitator, former President Kenyatta of Kenya, for the progress that has been made in the context of the Nairobi Process, with the support of the Chair of the East African Community, His Excellency President Ndayishimiye.


We also commend the East African Community for the deployment of the East African Community Regional Force.


As we meet here today, we are painfully aware of the impact of another deadly conflict brewing on our continent.


South Africa is deeply concerned at the unfolding crisis in the Republic of Sudan. We call upon the warring armed forces to put down their weapons for the sake of preserving human life, and to begin dialogue and negotiations without delay.


We further call on the Sudanese authorities to swiftly work towards the restoration of civilian-led government in line with the Political Framework Agreement signed in December last year.




It is our hope that as we enter the second decade of existence of the PSC Framework that we breathe new life into its implementation. We owe it to both current and future generations to give effect to the aspiration of Silencing the Guns across Africa.


I thank you.


Issued by: The Presidency