Population First

For many decades now, the Democratic Republic of Congo is well-known worldwide for the quality of music the country produces. From rumba, cavacha, kwassa kwassa to soukous, Congolese musicians have inscribed their names in the hall of fame. But despite all these, the country is plunging day-in-day-out into an unprecedented civil war due to the presence of numerous armed groups in most Provinces of the country. These armed groups which are supported by some neighboring countries and non-governmental organizations are not only making the country ungovernable, but also illegally sapping the country’s mineral resources at the detriment of population.
After months of negotiations, the holding of a peace seeking meeting in Murhesa, South of Kivu (near Bukavu), to discuss Disarmament, Demobilization and Reinsertion is a milestone that merits a-pat-on-the-back of the organizers. Never in the history of the country has as many as 70 armed groups accepted to sit on a negotiation table to chat the way forward. Now that the negotiation platform has been put in place and different belligerents known, it is time for frank talk with the government represented at the highest level by the Minister Delegate at the Defense, Sylvain Mutombo. 
Though in doing this the option promoted by the three NGOs; Initiative for Cohesive Leadership, Search for Common Ground and ADCI is the creation of disarmament, reintegration and community reconciliation, they must put the security and interest of the population first. For, apart from being deprived from exploiting the natural resources to make ends meet, they are victims of numerous killings and rape. Their children are dragged into different arms groups without their consent, school is a forgotten issue, while access to health care farfetched. Thus, for a hitch-free peace in the area, the welfare of the population as well as the proper integration of armed groups must go hand-in-glove.



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