Site of Recent DR Congo Clashes Now Calm
Site of Recent DR Congo Clashes Now Calm, UN Envoy Says Following Visit
New York, Sep 1 2008 12:10PM
Alan Doss, the top United Nations official in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), says calm has returned to Rutshuru in the country's volatile North Kivu province following last week's clashes between Government forces and armed rebel groups.
Mr. Doss, who is also head of the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC -- known as MONUC -- conducted a joint mission to the area on Sunday, along with the country's Defence Minister, Tshikez Diemu, to assess security in the wake of the fighting.
The clashes that broke out on 28 August between the Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC) and the National Congress for People's Defense, known by its French acronym CNDP, was some of the worst fighting since a peace deal was signed by the parties in January.
Following last week's incident, MONUC had called on the parties to exercise restraint, return to their original positions and avoid any action that could lead to a further escalation of violence, and had dispatched patrols to the area.
Accompanied by MONUC's Force Commander, General Babacar Gaye, and the Chief of Staff of the FARDC, General Dieudonne Kayembe, the two officials met yesterday with local authorities and MONUC peacekeepers in eastern DRC.
They were able to assess that the situation in the area is now calm, according to a news release issued by MONUC. During the visit, Mr. Doss stressed the need to proceed as quickly as possible with the implementation of the so-called Actes d'engagement reached in January.