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'Encouraging' Progress On Peace In Central Africa

'Encouraging' progress on peace and security in Central Africa - Ban Ki-moon

15 May 2008 - Improved political dialogue in the Central African Republic (CAR), a peace conference in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), as well as the deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping mission in Chad and CAR are all signs of progress towards peace in the region, the Secretary-General said today.

In a statement presented today in Luanda, Angola's capital, by the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Sergio Duarte, Mr. Ban said that "recent efforts to promote peace and security in the region have yielded encouraging results."

The Secretary-General cited the Goma peace conference on the Kivu provinces in DRC, and the deployment of the United Nations Mission in the CAR and Chad (MINURCAT) as positive signs for the region.

However, Mr. Ban said that the resumption of fighting in Burundi and the non-compliance with a recent agreement reached in Goma were "worrying developments" which "continue to threaten lasting peace and stability" in the area. The Secretary-General called on the armed rebel group the Congrès National pour la Défense du Peuple (CNDP) to work actively to ensure the full and rapid implementation of the agreement.

Noting that the activities of armed groups along the border between Chad and Sudan are continuing to create instability in the area, Mr. Ban said the UN would renew its support for efforts to promote improved relations between Chad and Sudan.

The Secretary-General's message was delivered to the ministerial meeting of the UN Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa.

ENDS

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