7 May 2013

Congo-Kinshasa: UN Says There Are Signs for Peace in DR Congo

The United Nations, UN Envoy for Africa's Great Lakes Region, Mary Robinson, has said there are encouraging signs that the new push for peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, DRC, could succeed.

"There is a chance to resolve its underlying causes and to stop it for good," Ms. Robinson told the 15-nation Council via video teleconference in New York on Monday.

Ms. Robinson had wrapped up a week of regional visit to the DR Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, South Africa and Ethiopia to seek the views of political and non-government leaders on the implementation of the UN-brokered "Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region".

The Framework, adopted in February with the support of 11 nations and four international organisations (11+4), aims to end the cycles of conflict and crisis in the Eastern DR Congo and to build peace in the troubled region.

In March, the UN Security Council authorised the deployment of an intervention brigade to carry out targeted offensive operations, with or without the Congolese national army, against armed groups that threatened peace in eastern DRC.

The Special Envoy told the Council that she was "glad to report some encouraging news" as Presidents Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi "have restated their willingness to implement their commitments under the Framework".

She pointed out that it was also encouraging to see that the leaders in the region, particularly President Joseph Kabila and President Kagame, have continued to talk to each other.

She said this was either bilaterally or through the inter governmental group known as the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), due to hold a summit on recent developments in the region in July.

Ms. Robinson told the Security Council that the intervention brigade should "act mostly preventatively, as a deterrent with limited strategic military operations" and operate "in full compliance with international human rights and humanitarian law, and with maximum consideration for the protection of civilians".

She said the intervention brigade was already undertaking mitigating measures in that regard.


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