The United Nations and the Government of South Africa have together set up a new secretariat to help implement the recent peace agreement between the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Rwanda.
In a joint communiqué released late Friday in New York, representatives of the UN and the South African Government named a total of six officials who will serve on the body. The announcement followed a meeting between UN officials and a team of South African experts which came to New York for consultations on the practical modalities of the accord.
That agreement, signed in Pretoria, deals with the withdrawal of the Rwandan troops from the DRC's territory and the dismantling of the ex-FAR/Interahamwe forces in the country. It also provides for the involvement of a "third party," which is defined as the UN Secretary-General and South Africa, in its dual capacity as Chairperson of the African Union and facilitator of the peace process.
In their communiqué, the UN and South Africa pledged "to work closely together to oversee and verify the implementation of the commitments made by both parties."
The new secretariat will comprise the Secretary-General's Deputy Special Representative for the DRC and the Deputy Force Commander of the UN Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC), as well as four senior South African officials, including the President's Security Adviser and his Foreign Affairs Adviser.