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DR of Congo: UN pledges support for peace process in northeast

DR of Congo: UN pledges support for peace process in northeast

A high-level United Nations delegation – including a top envoy of Secretary-General Kofi Annan and representatives of the Security Council – today gathered in the northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to welcome the creation of a power-sharing local administration that will manage the region until a new post-war national government takes over.

According to the UN Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC), the Secretary-General's Special Representative, Amos Namanga Ngongi, accompanied the diplomatic delegation to Bunia to attend a special session marking the end of the work of the newly created Ituri Pacification Committee (IPC). Mr. Ngongi reiterated the Secretary-General's continued interest in the situation in Ituri and his firm commitment to the entire process.

The IPC - officially inaugurated on 4 April - was tasked with implanting a new local-level administrative authority in that region and creating an acceptable structure to maintain law and order, and ensure the withdrawal of Ugandan troops from the territory.

The technical committee charged with laying the groundwork for the emergence of the regional power-sharing body struggled to ensure wide participation of Ituri's various political and military groups. A local-level ceasefire signed in mid-March ended weeks of spiralling violence and subsequently work to ensure the establishment of the IPC intensified.

Notwithstanding the serious differences and procedure-related complications, MONUC reported that the 177 delegates to the IPC approved a series of interim measures to end hostilities and provide a provisional administration in Ituri, highlighted by a power-sharing, 32-member Provisional Assembly. Under the presidency of the Secretary-General's Deputy Special Representative for the DRC, Behrooz Sadry, the IPC also agreed that an 18-member Commission of Prevention and Verification would examine the causes of the conflict and establish measures to prevent any escalation.

Today, Mr. Ngongi welcomed the creation of new transition institutions to run Ituri, adding that "MONUC will accompany the pacification effort, and I can assure you that it is committed to working in close collaboration with you." All the members of the diplomatic delegation, which included representatives of Belgium, the five permanent members of the Security Council - China, France, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and United States - and three non-permanent Council members - Angola, Cameroon and Guinea - pledged the international community's strong support of the Ituri peace process.