Security Council discusses upcoming high-level visit to Great Lakes region

Security Council discusses upcoming high-level visit to Great Lakes region

The United Nations Security Council today met behind closed doors to discuss preparations for an upcoming high-level mission to the Great Lakes region later this month, a UN spokesman said in New York.

A draft of the terms of reference for the mission, scheduled for 27 April to 7 May and headed by Ambassador Jean-David Levitte of France, was distributed during the closed consultations, spokesman Fred Eckhard told a press briefing.

During the session, an official from the UN Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) also introduced its assessment of armed groups operating in the country, Mr. Eckhard said. Last February, the Council had asked MONUC to conduct such an evaluation as part of preparations for disarming, demobilizing, repatriating, resettling and reintegrating former combatants into society.

The report is a fact sheet that provides information on a number of armed groups operating in the eastern DRC, including Burundian rebels, former members of the Rwandan Armed Forces and Mayi-Mayi combatants.

After the Council's discussion on the mission, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahima Fall presented Secretary-General Kofi Annan's latest report on Guinea-Bissau, Mr. Eckhard said.