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DR Congo final stop on Security Council’s week-long Africa trip

DR Congo final stop on Security Council’s week-long Africa trip

Jean Marc de la Sablière briefs press
Members of the Security Council wrapped up their week-long mission to Africa today, holding meetings with United Nations and Government officials in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The DRC was the last stop on the Council’s five-nation tour which also took the 15-member body to Ethiopia, Sudan, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, in support of ongoing peace efforts on the continent.

When the delegation arrived in Kinshasa yesterday, they received briefings from the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, William Swing, and other UN officials about the work of the UN Mission in that country (MONUC), a spokesperson for the world body said.

With MONUC’s support, the country last year held its first fully democratic vote since independence, resulting in the election of President Joseph Kabila and a parliament.

French Ambassador Jean Marc de la Sablière, the head of this leg of the Council trip, congratulated the Congolese people for “the political maturity which they showed at the crucial stage of the elections, which allowed them to finally emerge from crisis and the transition.”

Speaking to reporters in Kinshasa, he added “there are now new challenges that are a matter for the Democratic Republic of the Congo to strengthen what has been made, to create a strong democratic society on the basis of these elections.”

During their meeting with President Kabila today, Council members discussed the post-electoral situation in the DRC, security issues and the reform of the military. The President also brought up proposals for a Great Lakes security summit.

The delegation also met with Acting Prime Minister Nzanga Mobutu and other Cabinet officials, along with members of the Senate and National Assembly and civil society and community leaders.

Council members are scheduled to arrive back in New York tomorrow.