Last updateSam, 31 Jan 2015 10am

RD Congo: Envoy tasks international community on DRC

New York, US - The UN Special Representative in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Mr. Martin Kobler, has urged the international community and the Congolese
government to adopt concrete measures that will build on the current stability in the country.

'It is now up to us to win the peace, with energy, conviction and persistence,' Mr. Kobler said at a UN Security Council meeting at the UN headquarters in New York.

'There is a new momentum and we have to build on it. Our robust protection stance and the hard-won stability are the foundation to build peace. The responsibility to protect, stabilise and reform will remain the mission’s priorities.'

He also noted the Amani Music and Dance festival for Peace, which took place in February, following an initial postponement, saying: 'Thanks to the return of peace in Goma that enabled it.'

'The Amani festival was a perfect illustration of how culture is capable of bringing people together in peace. Over 11,000 Congolese and Rwandans danced and sang together,' the envoy said.

He said much remains to be done to bring peace and security to conflict-affected areas, adding that the so-called 'triangle of death' in Katanga, where Mayi-Mayi Bakata Katanga groups burnt some 80 villages and terrorised the population, remains a hot spot.

The UN official said over 400,000 people have been displaced so far.

In terms of security and protection, he told the Council that the Force Intervention Brigade, side by side with the Congolese armed forces (FARDC), has cleared many positions held by armed groups.

As for stabilisation, he expressed the need for a restoration of State authority in conflict-affected areas, especially where armed groups were still operating in the restive eastern part of the country, in order to convert those areas into 'islands of stability'.

PANA reports that the DRC has been torn apart by civil wars and factional fighting since it became independent 1960.

However, with the support of a series of UN missions, a measure of stability has been restored to much of the vast country over the past decade.

Pana 17/03/2014