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Implementation of peace process in eastern DR Congo a ‘mixed bag’ – UN envoy

Implementation of peace process in eastern DR Congo a ‘mixed bag’ – UN envoy

Special Envoy and former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo
Although strides have been made in implementing the peace process in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) – ending the deadly conflict there between the Government and a militia – the United Nations Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region said today that progress remains slow.

The implementation of the pact, signed on 23 March between the Government and the National Congress for People’s Defence (CNDP), has been a “mixed bag,” Olusegun Obasanjo, who is in New York to brief senior UN officials on the situation in the region, told reporters.

The amnesty law has been promulgated, with some prisoners having been released, he said. Further, the CNDP, formerly the main rebel group, has been formed into a political party.

The joint operation by the DRC and Rwanda against another group, known as the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR), has strengthened ties between the neighbouring nations, Mr. Obasanjo, the former leader of Nigeria, said, adding that they are now exploring economic collaboration in methane gas exploitation and other areas.

But he cautioned that “integration can still be unravelled and break at the seams, especially when the integrated soldiers have not been paid.”

Additionally, although some 300,000 people uprooted by violence in North and South Kivu provinces have returned to their homes, the Envoy noted that due to the military operations against rebels by Government forces (FARDC) and the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC (MONUC), another 150,000 civilians have been uprooted.