Libreville(Gabonese Rep.), June 22, 2023– After the Specialized Technical Committees on Budget & Finance Finance and Justice and Legal Affairs, namely the Experts segments on June 20 and 21, 2023, the preparatory meetings for the XXIIIrd Ordinary Session of the Conference of Heads of State and Government continue with the opening this morning in the Gabonese capital, of the work of the Specialized Technical Committee on Defense, Safety and Security (CTSDSS) of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), notably the Experts segment of the Central African Peace and Security Council (COPAX).
The opening ceremony was attended by ECCAS member state experts, ECCAS commissioners and senior officials from the ECCAS Commission, in the presence of the Chief of Staff of the Gabonese Armed Forces, Gen. Jean Martin OSSIMA NDONG and numerous guests.
Two speeches were made during the opening ceremony: one by the President of the ECCAS Commission, His Excellency Gilberto Da Piedade Verissimo and the opening address by the Coordinator of the Specialized Technical Committees, the Commissioner General for Regional Integration at the Gabonese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Monsieur Blaise Placide Olouba.
On the whole, the two speakers described a relatively stable regional and security context in all the countries of the community, an environment conducive to the revival of economic growth. However, both speakers deplored the persistence of insecurity in certain regions, such as the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where armed groups scour entire localities. Here, speakers welcomed the personal involvement of the Angolan President HE. JOÃO MANUEL GONÇALVES LOURENÇO as a champion of reconciliation and peace in Africa, in the search for solutions to the crisis between two brotherly ECCAS member countries, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The leaders of ECCAS and the Commission reaffirmed their willingness to support the transition process in Chad and praised the tireless efforts of the ECCAS facilitator, the President of ECCAS. Félix Antoine Tshisékédi Tshilombo in setting up a platform for dialogue between the various protagonists of the transition in Chad (transition leaders, political parties, former politico-military movements, civil society organizations, etc.).
The Ambassador Gilberto Da Piedade Verissimo called on all ECCAS member states to uphold the principle of solidarity and non-indifference, with a view to supporting the brotherly country of DR Congo in its fight to restore peace and eradicate the suffering of its people.
With regard to the elections held in 2023 and those to come, the President of the ECCAS Commission welcomed the smooth running of the senatorial elections in Cameroon, and expressed the hope that preparations for the general elections in the Gabonese Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Chad, as well as for the constitutional referendum in the Central African Republic, would take place in conditions of peace and tranquillity.
The Chairman of the ECCAS Commission and the Representative of Gabon’s Minister of Foreign Affairs wished all participants in the two-day 4th ECCAS Specialized Technical Committee on Defense, Safety and Security (CTSDSS) every success in their deliberations.