Transregional Conflict in the Great Lakes Region
This contribution explained the main root causes of the Great Lakes conflict and the role played by the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) in addressing its regional dimensions. Ethnic division was discussed as the main root of conflicts in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, and to a less extent in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The failure of state institutions to address ethnicity and its triggering factors caused internal civil wars, massacres and genocide which led to a huge movement of refugees from one Great Lakes country to other neighbouring and countries. This explains the outbreak of the Great Lakes war between the DRC and Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi from August 1998 to 2003 and the ongoing instability in the region. Against this background, the ICGLR was established in December 2006 in a bid to address the root causes of the conflicts and its regional dimensions. Despite the signing of the Pact for Security, Stability and Development by Great Lakes countries, the ICGLR is still facing serious challenges which undermine its capacity to promote ´ sustainable peace and security in the region.