A Security Council delegation will this weekend begin a five-country visit to Africa to obtain a first-hand assessment of the crises engulfing Somalia, Sudan’s Darfur region and neighbouring Chad and to help with efforts to promote peace and reconciliation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Côte d’Ivoire.
The delegation will start its 10-day mission in Djibouti, where talks are being held between representatives of the Government and the opposition in neighbouring Somalia, a United Nations spokesperson told reporters today.
The Council members then head to Sudan for three days of talks with Government officials in Khartoum and a visit to El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur state and the headquarters of the hybrid UN-African Union peacekeeping force (UNAMID) to the troubled region.
The delegation travels next to N’Djamena, the capital of Chad, for a two-day visit that will also include a trip to the far east of the country to tour camps for refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) near the town of Goz Beida, which is close to the border with Darfur.
On 7 June the delegation is scheduled to arrive in the Congolese capital, Kinshasa, for discussions with the country’s leadership and civil society and the UN peacekeeping mission (known as MONUC).
The group is expected to also visit Goma, the main town in North Kivu province in the far east of the DRC, which has experienced continued violent unrest since the official end of the civil war.
The last stop on the trip will be Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire’s commercial capital, for meetings with key figures in the implementation of the Ouagadougou peace agreement, reached last year to end the protracted political stand-off in the West African country between the Government and the rebel Forces Nouvelles.