14 February 2014

Congo-Kinshasa: UN Envoy Heads to Kinshasa to Promote Regional Peace Accord

Great Lakes envoy Mary Robinson is in the Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, calling on authorities to fulfil their commitments to achieve lasting peace, as the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the DRC is due to visit alleged massacre sites in the restive eastern part of the vast country.

Mrs. Robinson, the Secretary-General's Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region has been meeting the past two days with President Joseph Kabila and other Government officials in the DRC on implementation of national commitments to the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework - signed by 11 nations in February 2013.

The discussions are "constructive," a UN spokesperson told journalists in New York.

At the national level, commitments include increasing and acceleration reforms to the security sector should be significantly increased and accelerated - which would be essential for expanding State authority, particularly in eastern DRC. Another priority is the swift implementation of an effective programme to disarm and reintegrate former M23 combatants.

Mrs. Robinson also met with international partners to encourage their engagement and support to the process, as well as with local non-governmental actors.

Civil society engagement is crucial to achieving the goals and objectives that have been set, she said through the spokesperson.

The visit comes amid reports of several new potential gross human rights violations, including a summary received by the UN Stabilization Mission in the country, known as MONUSCO, of more than 70 men and women killed in the Nyamaboko villages I and II, in the Masisi territory of North Kivu province.

Martin Kobler, head of MONUSCO, yesterday expressed "serious concern" over the allegations and deemed that "unacceptable."

"Any person involved in such acts should face justice," he said in a statement released by the Mission, which is currently trying to verify what happened.

According to information from MONUSCO, the reports received suggest that the summary executions were allegedly committed mainly by armed groups wielding machete to spread terror among the population.

"MONUSCO shall spare no efforts to neutralize all the armed groups responsible for such acts," it said, adding that the Mission is on the ground working to verify the allegations.

Among its primary tasks, the peacekeeping Mission is mandated by the UN Security Council to protect civilians in the country.

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