DR Congo: UN envoy calls on parties to implement commitments in Kivus

DR Congo: UN envoy calls on parties to implement commitments in Kivus

The top United Nations official in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has appealed to the parties in the volatile Kivu provinces in the country’s northeast to implement the commitments made in recent accords and help more than one million internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees try to resume normal life.

Alan Doss, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in the DRC, told the opening of the mixed technical commission on peace and security in the Kivus – otherwise known as the ‘Amani programme’ – that it was time to move into the “realization phase” of the peace process.

Speaking at the conference in the town of Goma on Friday, Mr. Doss said the vast population of IDPs and refugees in North Kivu and South Kivu, which have been beset by fighting and instability since the official end of the civil war in 2003, are waiting for the commitments in the accords reached in January by Government forces (known as the FARDC) and armed rebel groups to be fulfilled.

“In the last weeks, the United Nations gave priority to the monitoring and consolidation of the ceasefire,” he said. “An informal dialogue mechanism was established between the FARDC and the armed groups, and the UN would like to see this quickly formalized.

“There have been many violations of the ceasefire, but much was due to banditry than to real military action. None of the violations were likely to affect the peace process.”

The accords include provisions for members of the armed rebel groups to either disarm or join the ‘brassage’ process in which they join the FARDC after retraining.

Mr. Doss called on all the armed groups as well as the commanders of FARDC to impose more discipline on their troops to reduce human rights violations.

The more delicate issues, such as the scope and nature of the military structures to be deployed in the east of the DRC, will also have to be tackled soon if the region is to have a durable peace, he said.