National
International envoys gather for peace mission in DR Congo
Publish Date: Jun 03, 2014
International envoys gather for peace mission in DR Congo
President of the Democratic Republic of Congo Joseph Kabila Kabange. AFP PHOTO
  • mail
  • img
newvision

KINSHASA - A high-powered group of special envoys to the troubled heart of Africa were set Monday to assess the peace process in the conflict-torn Democratic Republic of Congo, a UN statement said.

The envoys from the United Nations, African Union, European Union and United States were to meet in Kinshasa with Martin Kobler, head of the large UN mission in DRC (MONUSCO).

Their two-day visit is part of the ongoing international oversight of DRC's peace process, with a particularly focus on the east of the country, which has suffered more than two decades of strife and human rights abuses.

"The Envoys plan to meet with representatives of the government, civil society and the international community to hear first hand about the implementation of commitments to the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework and what they can do to support further progress," the MONUSCO statement said.

The experts' oversight role arises from a pact signed by 11 African countries in Addis Ababa under UN auspices on February 24, 2013.

The signatories included Rwanda and Uganda, which border on the east of the vast DRC and have both been accused by Kinshasa and the United Nations of backing ethnic Tutsi Congolese rebels, allegations they deny.

The envoys to the central African Great Lakes region are Mary Robinson for the UN, Boubacar Diarra of the AU, Koen Vervaeke of the EU and Russ Feingold of the US.

Total surrender

The rebel force known as the March 23 Movement (M23) launched an uprising in April 2012 and went on to seize Goma, a provincial capital of about one million people, the following November. M23 fighters left the city under strong international pressure and were defeated by the army and a UN intervention brigade a year later.

On Sunday, the special envoys called for "the total surrender of all the fighters and ranking officers" of a different rebel group active in the Kivu provinces of eastern DRC, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR). Some older members of the ethnic Hutu FDLR are accused of taking part in the Rwandan genocide of 1994, when Hutu troops and militias massacred an estimated 800,000 people.

The FDLR is said to number between 1,500 and 4,000 members, according respectively to the United Nations and the Rwandan government. Its forces are accused of serious abuses against civilians in both North Kivu and South Kivu, including killings, rape, looting and theft, and the forced enlistment of child soldiers.

Under the Addis Ababa accord, the Kinshasa government undertook to introduce reforms in political, social and security policies, while the other nations pledged to give no assistance to any of the armed movements rife in the east of the DRC.

Last Friday, about 100 mainly young men from the FDLR surrendered and handed in their weapons in North Kivu after authorities gave them an ultimatum to go back to Rwanda or ask for political asylum.

Previous bids to disarm the FDLR have failed and the fighters who surrendered last week included none of a list of rebels sought for serious crimes by national and international prosecutors.
 

RELATED ARTICLES

As Rwanda marks genocide, no justice for DR Congo massacres

UN gunships strike ADF base in Congo

Defeated Congo rebels sign amnesty to end fighting

Congo army attacks ADF rebels in lawless east


AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
UCU introduces new program on child development
The Bishop Tucker School of Divinity and Theology at Uganda Christian University (UCU) has introduced a new program focusing on children development....
University cautioned over Mbabazi invite
Ambiance Discotheque in Masaka municipality has stopped Mutesa 1 Royal University from inviting the former prime minister as chief guest at their Saturday beauty contest....
Ex-PM Mbabazi entitled to sh2.1m pension
Former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi once said he was not finished and indeed he is not, especially in the wallet....
Mother declines cash to marry off P.6 daughter
A 37-year-old woman from eastern Uganda is the talk of the town after she rejected sh602,000 from a suitor who wanted to marry her daughter....
14 killed in DR Congo machete attack
THE incursion by the Ugandan rebel group ADF took place overnight in the town of Kampi ya Chui....
Businessman sues UNRA over Entebbe Expressway
A businessman has dragged UNRA to court seeking sh5b in damages for loss of business and the inconvenience over the construction of the Entebbe Expressway....
Should the absence of bride price prevent couples from wedding?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter