Great Lakes: UN mission chief in DR of Congo salutes Rwanda/Uganda meeting

Great Lakes: UN mission chief in DR of Congo salutes Rwanda/Uganda meeting

The United Nations peacekeeping operation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) today saluted the meeting held on Tuesday in London between Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

In a statement issued in Kinshasa, the UN Mission in the DRC (MONUC) said the "mini-summit" came at a crucial moment of rising tensions between the neighbouring countries - both of which are implicated in the conflict in the DRC - and coincided with a resurgence of violence in the eastern part of the country.

The talks also came in advance of the 9 November meeting of the political committee and the UN Security Council on the preparations to enter MONUC's third phase, which involves the deployment of UN troops and military observers towards the east of the country, MONUC said.

"For all these reasons, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in the DRC, Mr. Namanga Ngongi, salutes the London meeting, which has the support and encouragement of the Security Council and the Secretary-General [Kofi Annan]," the statement said. "[He hopes] that the meeting will contribute to eliminating all misunderstandings between the two countries, to the great benefit of the peace process and the upcoming additional deployment of UN troops in the DRC."

Mr. Ngongi also invited all the signatories to the Lusaka peace accords to increase high-level contacts that favour the path to peace rather than to a military solution. Due to the frank discussions that such meetings engender, such talks also help to eliminate numerous obstacles in the path to peace by "maintaining and reinforcing the current momentum in favour of dialogue and harmony," the MONUC statement said.