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Government Troops Will Respect DR Congo Ceasefire

Government troops will respect ceasefire in eastern DR Congo, UN told

8 October 2008 – Authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has assured the United Nations of its commitment to abide by the ceasefire in the eastern part of the vast African country, which has recently been the scene of some of the worst fighting in over a year between the Government and rebel groups.

During a meeting on Monday, the UN Mission in DRC, known as MONUC, was informed by Congolese authorities that the country’s armed forces (FARDC) “had been given clear instructions to maintain the ceasefire and not engage any offensive action on the ground,” according to a news release issued in Kinshasa.

MONUC said it had noted some progress in the establishment of the separation zones, and called on all parties to conform to the Actes d’engagement signed between the parties in January.

The fighting between FARDC and the rebels that form the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) are in direct violation of the January peace deal and have led to the displacement of thousands of people in the country’s eastern region.

The Congolese Government also reiterated its engagement with the Amani Programme set up to implement the peace accord, the process of disengagement and the Nairobi communiqué, the November 2007 agreement under which the DRC and Rwanda have agreed to work together against threats to peace and stability in the region.

“The process of disengagement remains the only pacific way to put an end to the conflict,” according to MONUC, which called again on all armed groups for restraint and to ready themselves to move to the regroupment centres.

Meanwhile, the new MONUC Force Commander, Lieutenant-General Vincente Diaz de Villegas, completed his first working visit to North Kivu, which has borne the brunt of the recent fighting.

While in North Kivu, General Diaz, who took up his post last week, met with UN peacekeepers and the UN coordination team. He was briefed on the security and military situation and was later escorted on a tour of strategic peacekeeping bases.

The situation in North Kivu is reported to be relatively calm today, apart from some sporadic gunfire, according to MONUC.

ENDS

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