Head of UN mission reports 'positive' results of visit to eastern DR of Congo

Head of UN mission reports 'positive' results of visit to eastern DR of Congo

The head of the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo said today that his recent trip to three eastern cities with a group of senior diplomats from six countries was a positive development for the peace process in the DRC.

Amos Ngongi, Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Representative, was briefing the press in Kinshasa on the trip Goma, Kindu and Kisangani he had undertaken in the company of the ambassador of Belgium, as well as the ambassadors of the five permanent members of the Security Council - China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States.

During the visit, the ambassadors met with the leadership of the Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD) to discuss phase III of MONUC deployment, the opening of the Congo River to free circulation of persons and goods and the demilitarization of Kisangani.

The RCD leadership informed the ambassadors that its commitment to the demilitarization of Kisangani was “firm and irreversible,” Mr. Ngongi said. He noted, however, that the RCD had raised two conditions: the annulment by the government of its recent decision to appoint governors for the Oriental Province and also to create a police force.

In response, the ambassadors reminded the RCD that the Security Council resolution "demanded a demilitarization without conditions," Mr. Ngongi said.

Describing the outcome of the visit as "very positive," he added that it also gave a chance to the ambassadors to take the measure of what would be needed to successfully carry out phase III in terms of labour, equipments and money.