Annan says recent military actions could damage peace process in DR of Congo

28 October 2002

The fragile peace process in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is in danger of being reversed because of the recent military offensive against Uvira and other key locations in the eastern part of the country, according to a report by Secretary-General Kofi Annan released today.

The fragile peace process in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is in danger of being reversed because of the recent military offensive against Uvira and other key locations in the eastern part of the country, according to a report by Secretary-General Kofi Annan released today.

In his report to the Security Council on the work of the UN Mission in the DRC (MONUC), Mr. Annan urges all parties to cease hostilities and take advantage of the positive atmosphere and opportunities created by recent diplomatic initiatives.

Noting that violence and abuses in the Ituri region have worsened in recent months, he voices hope that the establishment of a Joint Pacification Commission for the area would serve to restore peace and stability to that troubled region.

Mr. Annan calls for an end to the “current culture of impunity that exists in many parts of the country.” Referring to the arrests of three persons in Luanda, Brazzaville and Kinshasa indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the Secretary General stresses that “those responsible for serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law must be held accountable.”

The Secretary-General also condemns threats and harassment against UN staff, including those working for Radio Okapi. “The instigators of the latest incidents in Kisangani and elsewhere in the DRC bear responsibility for such acts and must understand that, in order for peace and normalcy to return, the safety and security of UN personnel must be guaranteed,” he writes.

Meanwhile in Pretoria, Mr. Annan’s Special Envoy, Mustapha Niasse, continued discussions over the weekend on an acceptable political transition with representatives of the Government of the DRC, the Movement for the Liberation of the Congo and the Congolese Rally for Democracy-Goma.

The Envoy said while he remained optimistic about the ongoing talks, many key issues still require further discussions by the various parties.

 

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