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Security Council members hail DR of Congo, Rwanda peace agreement

Security Council members hail DR of Congo, Rwanda peace agreement

Following a day of talks on the recent peace agreement between the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Rwanda, members of the Security Council today welcomed the accord as a "very positive step" in resolving the conflict in the Congo.

In a press statement following a private meeting, the Council President, Ambassador John D. Negroponte of the United States, said that members acknowledged that while there were details to work out, they were encouraged by the political will expressed in the agreement by President Joseph Kabila of the DRC and Rwandan President Paul Kagame.

Council members also credited the Government of South Africa, particularly President Thabo Mbeki, for their roles in brokering the accord and welcomed the country's continued involvement in helping to implement the agreement, Ambassador Negroponte said. They also welcomed the part played by the African Union and looked forward to the organization's further influence in helping to bring an end to the conflict in the DRC.

Council members acknowledged that the UN would have a role in assisting the parties and other African States in putting the agreement into action and therefore welcomed the intention of the parties to consult closely with the UN Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC) and other relevant UN agencies as soon as possible, Ambassador Negroponte said.

The Council also used the meeting to seek clarification on various aspects of the agreement and further details on its implementation from Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the Foreign Minister of South Africa, Leonard She Okitundu, the Foreign Minister of the DRC, and Patrick Mazimhaka, Rwanda's Special Envoy for the DRC, Ambassador Negroponte said.

The questions related to a range of issues, the Council President said, including the timeframes for the withdrawal of Rwandan forces and the demobilization process for Hutu rebels, the role of MONUC in implementation and the future role of South Africa as the third party to the agreement.

"The discussion with the parties was very useful to members [and] we anticipate that the Council will return to the matter later this month, perhaps to issue a statement on the agreement," Ambassador Negroponte said.

The Council would also be considering recommendations from the UN Secretariat on MONUC's operations and any useful role the Mission could play in support of the parties' implementation of the agreement, he added.



- Security Council meeting