UN Chief Pushes for Regional Deal to End Congo Crisis

Thursday, 20 Dec 2012 03:31 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
UNITED NATIONS — U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed alarm on Wednesday at the crisis in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and said he had discussed a plan to bring stability to the region with leaders of Rwanda, Uganda, and other African states.

Congolese troops, aided by U.N. peacekeepers have been battling so-called M23 rebels - who U.N. experts and Congolese officials say are backed by neighboring Rwanda and Uganda — for the past eight months in the mineral-rich east of the country.

Last month the U.N. force in Congo, known as MONUSCO, suffered a severe blow to its image after it chose not to intervene as well-equipped M23 rebels seized control of the eastern city of Goma. The rebels withdrew after 11 days.

U.N. officials defended the force's approach as necessary to avoid putting Goma's civilians at risk. The world body launched a "strategic review" of MONUSCO to see how its mandate might be beefed up, though U.N. officials say any changes to it would be meaningless without improvements in the Congolese army and an end of meddling by Rwanda and Uganda.

"The eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo remains the scene of instability, including sexual violence committed by combatants on all sides," Ban told reporters.

"The time has come for the international community to rethink its approach to the DRC [Congo] and the Great Lakes region," he said. "The underlying causes of the conflict in the region must be addressed in a comprehensive manner."

Ban described the situation in eastern Congo as being of "grave concern," adding that he was "trying to find some broader political framework" to end the crisis.

"We have a certain broader political framework on the basis of which we can really resolve this one as soon as possible," he said, without disclosing details.

Ban said he had spoken with the presidents of a number of African countries, including Congo's Joseph Kabila, Rwanda's Paul Kagame and Uganda's Yoweri Museveni, as well as the leaders of Tanzania, Congo-Brazaville, Angola, and South Africa about his "political framework" plan.

The plan would include some changes in the U.N. mission in Congo, said Ban, who added that the world body was looking at ways to "enhance the capacity of MONUSCO."

U.N. officials told Reuters privately that Ban hoped an agreement would soon be signed and that he might travel to Africa to be present for the signing.

The plan would involve a commitment by Kabila to improve the Congolese army and pledges from Uganda and Rwanda not to interfere in eastern Congo.

While M23 rebels have been accused of atrocities in eastern Congo, Congolese government forces routinely face accusations of rape and other war crimes.

The United Nations said on Tuesday that 126 women were raped in the eastern town of Minova last month after Congolese troops fled there as rebels advanced on Goma.

U.N. officials said Kabila's announcement on Saturday that he was planning an initiative for Congo aimed at uniting the vast Central African country, which has been torn by an eastern rebellion and a furious political opposition, was related to Ban's "political framework" idea.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Analysts: International Effort Needed to End South Sudan Carnage

Wednesday, 23 Apr 2014 12:17 PM

As ethnic massacres in South Sudan spiral out of control and politicians lose their grip on rampaging militias, only a c . . .

Obama Keeping Distance from African Relatives

Wednesday, 23 Apr 2014 09:16 AM

The African family President Obama embraced during and after winning office in 2008 has gone largely ignored since, The  . . .

230 Girls Abducted in Nigeria Still Missing

Tuesday, 22 Apr 2014 11:41 AM

Nigerian parents say more than 200 girls and young women abducted from a school by Islamic militants remain missing one  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved