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Honorable John Kerry,

At the eve of the trip to Africa by the US President Barack Obama, The NaJonal DemocraJc Congress (NDC), the coaliJon between Rally for Unity and Democracy (RUD) and Rally for the Rwandan People (RPR), takes this opportunity to share its vision regarding peace in the Great Lakes Region. We appreciate the US Government renewed interest in Africa and especially in supporJng efforts and iniJaJves aimed at bringing peace, security, regional integraJon and de-­? velopment in the Eastern DRC and Rwanda.

The NDC has many reasons to expect much from the trip by the US President. In fact, the trip happens at the criJcal moment in the region and during a period with unprecedented posiJve developments: The Peace, Security and CooperaJon (PSC) Framework for the DRC and the Re-­? gion, the appointment by the UN Secretary General Special RepresentaJve, the deployment of UN IntervenJon Brigade, and the recent statements by the Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete at the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the African Union in which he urged the Heads of State of Rwanda, Uganda and the DemocraJc Republic of the Congo (DRC) to open direct talks with their armed opposiJon as the best way to bring durable peace in the eastern DRC and Rwanda.

In fact, the need for direct talks between the governments of the regions and their respecJve armed opposiJon has been the tenet of the recommendaJon of the Rome Agreement of 27 January 2009 between the Government of the DRC and NDC, negoJated with the facilitaJon of Sant Egidio Community of Rome, SIK-­?Norway and the Church of Christ in Congo (ECC). Hence, the NDC hopes that President Barack Obama’s trip will revive the missed opportunity provided by the 2008-­?2009 demobilizaJon and disarmament process of Kisangani and Kasiki, Lubero, in North-­?Kivu province that led to the January 27, 2009 Rome Agreement.

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Sample Image National Democratic Congress is a coalition between Rally for Unity and Democracy (RUD-Urunana) and Rally for the Rwandan People (RPR-Inkeragutabara)