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COMESA wants more troops in Congo

By Vision Reporter

Added 8th June 2004 03:00 AM

THE ninth Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) summit ended in Kampala yesterday, with emphasis on the need for peace, security and stability for social and economic development.

THE ninth Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) summit ended in Kampala yesterday, with emphasis on the need for peace, security and stability for social and economic development.

By Hamis Kaheru

THE ninth Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) summit ended in Kampala yesterday, with emphasis on the need for peace, security and stability for social and economic development.

The summit of heads of state “reaffirmed the need to enhance solidarity among member states in the promotion of peace and security under the COMESA integration agenda, a communiqué issued at the end of the summit said.

The heads of state expressed satisfaction on the improvement of security in Burundi and commended Ethiopia, Mozambique and South Africa for their peacekeeping efforts.

However, the summit expressed concern at the recent escalation of violence in eastern DR Congo, especially in Bukavu and Walikale and called on the United Nations to send more peacekeepers there.

A renegade army general seized Bukavu on June 2, sparking off protests in Congo’s capital Kinshasa against the UN mission there (MONUC), which forced the latter to evacuate its staff to neighbouring Congo Brazzaville.

The summit “urged UN to deploy more peace keepers to the DRC to strengthen MONUC to enable it contain the on-going violence,” the communiqué said.

The leaders resolved to urge the international community to accelerate the disarmament of Interahamwe and Ex-FAR, who are blamed for the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, and are now based in the DRC.

The summit commended the transitional government of national unity for its commitment to peace and for the progress made towards holding democratic elections.

COMESA welcomed the UN Security Council resolution 1545, which provides for peacekeeping forces in Burundi but expressed concern at the atrocities being committed by Palihetutu-FNL and the rebel group’s refusal to join the peace process.

The COMESA member states were urged to support efforts to resolve the impasse in the Ethiopia-Eritrea peace process through dialogue.

Ends

COMESA wants more troops in Congo

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