Welcome to the APPG on the Great Lakes Region of Africa

Welcome to the website of The UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Great Lakes Region of Africa. This is a political website, but not party political: all members are passionate about the development of a region so vital to the future of Africa. Most people agree that the UK government is doing a good job on development, but people across the spectrum feel equally strongly about the desperate need for progress in the Great Lakes region. There’s a lot parliamentarians can do to keep pressing for more resources and more development assistance, but also for increased political goodwill towards implementation of key reforms. We try to do that by producing our own reports on the region, by convening working groups, by flagging up latest developments, by lobbying ministers.

The Great Lakes Region is the heart of Africa and potentially its driving force. But it has been wracked by years of conflict. In 1994, the Rwandan genocide shocked the international community, which did little effective to stop it. Since then, the region has seen wars ranging from the long-running conflict in Burundi to the devastating rebellion of the Lord's Resistance Army in northern Uganda. More than 5 million people have died as a result of the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the most devastating war since the Second World War, and one that few people in the rest of the world know of. Now, after almost 20 years of remarkable economic reconstruction in Rwanda, after diversely credible elections across the four countries, hope across the region for a brighter future still needs all the support it can get.

On this site you will find information and update on discussions and debates about the big issues facing the region.

Burundi

Rwanda

DRC

  • GIHEMBE REUGEE CAMP (RWANDA) 09 July 2014 (IRIN) - Few of the 14,700 Congolese refugees in Rwanda’s Gihembe camp envisage returning home any time soon. As with Rwanda’s total caseload of 75,000 Congolese refugees, most are Tutsis who arrived between 1995 and 1997 from Masisi and Rutshuru territories in North Kivu, a province which still has a plethora of armed groups, making it too dangerous for the UN to organize refugee returns.

IRIN Great Lakes

  • BANGUI 21 July 2014 (IRIN) - The UN sanctions committee unveiled a report on 11 July detailing the alleged involvement of named individuals and armed groups in major human rights violations in the Central African Republic (CAR). The report by a panel of experts on CAR also presents evidence on the groups’ sources of funding and weapons, and names individuals believed to be involved in trafficking natural resources, and funding, organizing and manipulating armed groups.

Uganda

  • KYANGWALI (WESTERN UGANDA) 09 July 2014 (IRIN) - With around 365,000 DRC nationals dispersed across several countries in the Great Lakes region, many of them for almost two decades, the traditional triad of “durable solutions” - going home, integrating for good locally, or moving to a third country - remain “largely elusive”, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

IRIN Africa

  • BISSAU, 22 July 2014 (IRIN) - During the March-May cashew nut harvesting season, it is normal to see heavy trucks line Amílcar Cabral Avenue in Bissau, Guinea-Bissau's capital, waiting to offload their cargo onto ships. But when they line up all year long, suspicion is raised, especially when demand for the country's cashews has plummeted.