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DRC Needs Bolstered Monitoring Of Arms Shipments

DR Congo: experts call for bolstered monitoring of arms shipments

19 February 2008 – The Group of Experts dealing with illegal arms flows into and around the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has called for the strengthening of the monitoring capacity of the United Nations Mission in the vast African nation.

In recommendations in its report that was made public today, the five-member panel urged that the mission, known as MONUC, should be notified of “all incoming shipments of military supplies in a timely fashion.”

The report was written based on six weeks of investigations that the Group carried out in the DRC, as well as neighbouring countries such as Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda, late last year.

When investigating reported cases of military supplies being delivered to the country between August and November 2007, the Group “was informed that as a sovereign State, the Democratic Republic of the Congo considers it has no obligation to disclose this information.”

The experts also advised that the Security Council ask the Government and its international partners to restart an “effective process” to disarm, demobilize and reintegrate members of illegal armed groups.

Last August, the 15-member body voted unanimously to maintain the sanctions until this month.

ENDS

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