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.
BUJUMBURA 18 February 2014 (IRIN) - Building and planning code violations were largely to blame for the deaths - amid torrential rain earlier this month - of dozens of people in Burundi’s capital, and the destruction there of 3,500 homes, according to a leading urban planning expert who noted that numerous reports had warned of just such an eventuality.
KAMPALA/NAIROBI 04 March 2014 (IRIN) - There are 54 armed groups at large in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), according to the government, which plans to spend the next five years getting shot of them. But will the third, US$100 million, attempt at disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR3) succeed where previous bids failed?
BESSAN 12 March 2014 (IRIN) - With the year’s main planting season just weeks away, many in the Central African Republic have been left desperately ill-equipped by months of conflict. In the charred village of Bessan, to the west of the country, the concerns are typical: a dire lack of seeds, tools and manpower.
TEL AVIV/JOHANNESBURG 27 February 2014 (IRIN) - Israel has released figures showing that the number of African migrants choosing to accept “voluntary departure” from the country has been steadily increasing since an amendment to its anti-infiltration law was passed in December 2013, with about 2,200 departures recorded since the beginning of 2014.
BESSAN, 12 March 2014 (IRIN) - With the year's main planting season just weeks away, many in the Central African Republic have been left desperately ill-equipped by months of conflict. In the charred village of Bessan, to the west of the country, the concerns are typical: a dire lack of seeds, tools and manpower.