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Security Council approves deployment of UN troops to eastern DR of Congo

Security Council approves deployment of UN troops to eastern DR of Congo

As it stressed again the importance of the demilitarization of Kisangani, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), to the country's overall peace process, the United Nations Security Council has supported the deployment of UN troops towards the eastern parts of the territory.

The resolution was adopted unanimously yesterday evening during a meeting of the Council on the DRC. Addressing that meeting, Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged an end to fighting in eastern areas of the country and a return to normalcy that would encourage displaced people to return home. In that context, the deployment of peacekeepers from the UN Mission in the DRC (MONUC) would contribute to creating the proper climate of security, he said in his address to the 15-member body.

In its resolution, the Council affirmed that the implementation of phase III required the transmission to MONUC, as soon as possible, of the information needed to plan its support for the total withdrawal of foreign troops in the DRC, including the number of foreign military personnel, their equipment and armament, their exit routes and a precise table of implementation.

The Council said the situation in the DRC posed a threat to peace and security in the region, and expressed concern at the hostilities in eastern areas of the country, calling on the Lusaka Agreement parties to stop supporting the armed groups.

Welcoming the withdrawal of some foreign forces from the DRC, including the Namibian contingent, as a positive step towards the pullout of all foreign forces, the members requested all concerned States to do the same.

On the subject of reaching peace among Congolese factions, the Council called on the parties to work together for the success of the inter-Congolese dialogue, expressing its support for the Facilitator and his call on the parties to make the talks fully inclusive.

On the human rights front, the security body said it was gravely concerned by the repeated rights violations throughout the DRC, in particular in the territories under the control of the rebel groups party to the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement, and called on all parties to put an end to such abuses. It also said it was concerned with the humanitarian situation and called on donor countries to support relief activities.

In terms of the economic difficulties facing the DRC, the resolution said progress in the peace process and the economic recovery and development of the country were interdependent, and called for renewed international aid to boost the economy.

Reiterating its condemnation of all illegal exploitation of DRC's natural resources, the Council demanded that such exploitation cease and stressed that the country's resources should not be exploited to finance the conflict there.