The meetings of ICGLR Chiefs of Defence Staff and Ministers of Defence convened in Luanda from 5th – 7th July 2023 in Luanda to discuss regional security. The meetings brought together top military officials and policymakers from countries in the Great Lakes region to tackle the complex security challenges the region is facing.
The Chiefs of Defence Forces/Staff from the member states of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) met on 5th July 2023 to assess the security situation across the region. The meeting aimed to encourage better cooperation and strengthen security ties.
The forum provided an opportunity for the Chiefs of Defence Staff to discuss the state of security in the region and exchange ideas on how to tackle emerging challenges. At the opening ceremony of the meeting, Angola’s Secretary of State for Veterans and Veterans of the Homeland, General (ret.) Domingos André Tchikanha emphasized that “peace and national reconciliation are the greatest assets for us to safely develop our life projects, whether personal, family, institutional or state.” He reiterated Angola’s commitment to demonstrating leadership for stability in Africa, especially within ICGLR.
Echoing a similar sentiment, Angolan Chief of Defence Staff General Altino dos Santos said the conference presented an opportune time for open discussion on pressing security challenges facing ICGLR members. He noted that regional peace and stability are necessary conditions for advancing citizen welfare.
The meeting served as a precursor to the ICGLR Ministers’ of Defence meeting held on 7th July 2023, whose agenda was to deliberate on the various security challenges facing the Great Lakes region, including terrorism and armed conflicts.
The Minister of National Defence and Veterans of the Homeland, General João Ernesto dos Santos, “Liberdade,” from the Republic of Angola, and regional Defence Ministers emphasized the need for increased dialogue to resolve ongoing conflicts in the Great Lakes Region.
Minister Liberdade urged ICGLR members to prioritize dialogue and negotiation as the preferred models for settling disputes. He urged members to demonstrate their commitment to peaceful ideals endorsed at bilateral and multilateral forums through concrete actions.
The ICGLR Executive Secretary, Ambassador João Samuel Caholo, emphasized the urgency of the situation and the need to enhance information exchange between ICGLR member states’ defence and security forces. Enhanced cooperation aims to foster enduring peace and stability vital for improving living conditions for local populations.
These high-profile assemblies of military leadership highlight ICGLR’s mandate to promote sustainable peace by addressing defence and security issues affecting the Great Lakes community.