Posted by: africanpressorganization | 6 December 2008

Democratic Republic of the Congo / Former President of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo in Nairobi on Monday






Democratic Republic of the Congo / Former President of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo in Nairobi on Monday


KINSHASA, Dem. Rep. of Congo (DRC) December 6, 2008/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Daily press briefing by the offices of the spokesperson for the UN secretary-general and the spokesperson for the general assembly president



The Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on the Great Lakes Region, former President of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo, will be in Nairobi on Monday along with his co-facilitator from the African Union and the International Conference on the Great Lakes, former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa, to launch a dialogue between the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the National Congress in Defence of the People (CNDP). 


The agreement to launch a dialogue follows President Obasanjo’s and President Mkapa’s recent consultations with regional Heads of State, the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, CNDP and other armed groups, in which they strongly urged a dialogue, as well as respect for the ceasefire to help address the dire humanitarian crisis.


MONUC [United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo] has welcomed the outcome of the meeting, including the decision to normalize bilateral diplomatic relations and regional economic cooperation.  It took note that the Congolese Government announced it would meet with CNDP on 8 December.


On the operational plan to disarm the FDLR, this was a document produced bilaterally between the Rwandan and Democratic Republic of the Congo Governments.  The United Nations Mission (MONUC) will have to review this before passing any further comment.


On the ground, the Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo says that it is working to secure a durable ceasefire between North Kivu’s warring parties and re-energize peace talks between them.  It also reports that the deployment of peacekeepers and reinforcement of their positions continues in North Kivu.


Additional French-speaking troops have been sent to Goma to beef up the numbers of those assigned to the protection of civilians.  Mission combat helicopters in the region remain on alert and have orders to respond swiftly to any attack against civilians.  And United Nations Special Forces are monitoring the Democratic Republic of the Congo-Rwanda border and other sensitive areas.


The United Nations refugee agency, for its part, says that it has been unable to account for some 90,000 internally displaced civilians in the Rutshuru area.  The IDPs [internally displaced persons] had originally found shelter at three makeshift sites and at a United Nations-run camp, all of which were later forcibly shut down, leaving the IDPs to fend for themselves.  It is believed that many of them have returned to their original towns and villages as the general security situation is improving all across North Kivu.


And the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) now estimates that repeated raids by the Lord’s Resistance Army since September have led to the displacement of some 83,000 people in Province Orientale.  With the raids showing no signs of abating, OCHA says aid workers are now returning to the area to help care for the displaced.



SOURCE : United Nations – Office of the Spokesperson of the Secretary-General


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