The senior United Nations envoy to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has welcomed progress in the follow-up to last month’s agreements on restoring order in the troubled Kivus, where fighting has forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee in recent months.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative Alan Doss, speaking in Goma on Saturday, hailed the creation of a temporary ceasefire monitoring mechanism, which has as its focal point the UN Mission in the DRC (MONUC).
He also welcomed a recent Government order creating official follow-up bodies on the agreements, the reinforcement of MONUC blue helmets on the ground, and the transfer of the mission’s general headquarters from Kisangani to Goma.
Mr. Doss called on all armed groups to respect the agreements, warning that signing alone would not automatically restore order in the Kivus. He emphasized the need to make good on all aspects of the agreement and reaffirmed MONUC’s readiness to monitor the ceasefire on the ground.
The UN-backed Conference on Peace, Security and Development, held in Goma, North Kivu, ended with the signing on 22 January of ‘Actes d’engagement’ committing the Government and armed groups to end their hostilities.
The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) has estimated that over there are 800,000 displaced people in the North Kivu who have been uprooted either by last year’s fighting or previous conflicts.