Security Council members welcome progress in DR of Congo peace process

Security Council members welcome progress in DR of Congo peace process

Members of the Security Council today welcomed the progress in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) peace process and called on the parties to "redouble" their efforts to move the effort forward.

The Council members reminded all parties of their obligation to ease the deployment of the United Nations Mission in the DRC (MONUC), particularly in the eastern part of the country, the current President of the 15-nation body, Ambassador Jagdish Koonjul of Mauritius, said in a press statement, adding that they called on the Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD)/Goma and Rwanda to cooperate with the Mission in this regard.

Ambassador Koonjul said Council members recalled the importance of the disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, resettlement and reintegration (DDRRR) of armed groups, and encouraged the parties "to bring forward the disarmament and repatriation of the fighters gathered in the Kamina base."

The Council members expressed their concern for the continued fighting in the eastern part of the country, including fighting among rebel groups in which the civilian population are the first victims, and demanded an end to the fighting and respect for humanitarian law, Ambassador Koonjul said.

The Council also reiterated its call for the total withdrawal of foreign forces, the stop to any support to armed groups and urged all Congolese to show real political will for their engagement to the Inter-Congolese Dialogue.

Welcoming the recent improvement in relations between the DRC and Burundi, Council members invited all the parties to the conflict to intensify their bilateral contacts. "In this regard, they welcomed the outcome of the recent SADC [Southern African Development Community] Summit held in Blantyre [Malawi], which demonstrates the commitment of the SADC for peace in the region," Ambassador Koonjul said.

On the humanitarian front, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said today that its personnel and its partners are working to assist flood victims in the DRC river town of Mbandaka, where some 900 families have been displaced after floods washed away their homes.

"Many of the victims of the floods are sleeping in the open because there is still a shortage of shelter," said Therese Mbuaya, Officer in Charge of OCHA in Mbandaka

Working with Médécins sans Frontières and the Red Cross, OCHA has provided tents and plastic sheeting to shelter families from the rain. When displaced families return to their homes after the floods have receded, OCHA will work with other UN agencies to coordinate the distribution of agricultural and fishing tools.