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#AFRICANEWS Communique of the 685th PSC meeting on the renewal of the mandate of the Regional Cooperation Initiative for the Elimination of the Lord’s Resistance Army (RCI-LRA)


ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, May 19, 2017/APO/ --
The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU), at its 685th meeting held in Addis Ababa on 12 May 2017, considered the renewal of the mandate of the Regional Cooperation Initiative for the Elimination of the Lord’s Resistance Army (RCI-LRA) and adopted the following decision:

Council,
1. Takes note of the Report of the Chairperson of the Commission on the Status of the Implementation of the RCI-LRA (PSC/PR/RPT. (DCLXXXV), as well as the introductory remarks of the Commissioner for Peace and Security, delivered on his behalf by the Acting Director for Peace and Security. Council also takes note of statements made by representatives of the RCI-LRA member countries, namely: the Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Uganda; and Gabon, in its capacity as Chair of the Economic Community of Central Africa States (ECCAS). Council further takes note of statements made by the representatives of the United Nations(UN), the European Union (EU) and the United States of America (USA);
2. Recalls all its previous decisions and pronouncements on the fight against the LRA, particularly the communiqué [PSC/PR/COMM.(CCXCIX)] of its 299th meeting held on 22 November 2011, authorizing the deployment of the RCI-LRA, and the   Communiqué(PSC/PR/COMM.(DCI) adopted at its 601st meeting held on 30 May 2016,  in which Council endorsed the Conclusions of the 5th Ministerial Meeting of the Joint Coordination Mechanism (JCM) of the RCI-LRA, held in Addis Ababa, on 20 May 2016;
3.  Also recalls the decisions of the Summit of the RCI-LRA member countries adopted in Addis Ababa, on 29 January 2017, in the margins of the 28th Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government. Council further recalls the Conclusions of the 6th Ministerial meeting of the JCM, held in Addis Ababa, on 30 March 2017.
4.   Notes with satisfaction the progress made by the RCI-LRA towards the elimination of the LRA, particularly through the operations conducted by the Regional Task Force (RTF), which have significantly degraded the fighting capacity of the LRA. In this regard, Council commends RCI-LRA troop contributing countries for their relentless commitment to defeat the LRA. Council also commends the troops of the RTF for their commitment in the fight against the LRA, pays particular tribute to the RTF soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice and those who have sustained injuries in line of duty;
5. Expresses its deep appreciation to all AU partners, notably the USA, the EU and the UN,  for their continued support  to the RCI-LRA and urges them to enhance their support, with a view to enabling the RTF to pursue and intensify its action towards the elimination of the threat that LRA continues to pose to the promotion of peace, security and stability in the region

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