World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

UN Envoy To War-Torn DRC Wrap Up Talks

UN Envoy To War-Torn Eastern DR Congo Wraps Up Latest Round Of Talks

New York, Dec 1 2008 6:10PM

The United Nations envoy tasked with helping to resolve the conflict behind the recent fighting that has engulfed the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has completed his second round of consultations with leaders in the African Great Lakes region.

Olusegun Obasanjo, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the eastern DRC held talks – along with his co-facilitator, former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa – starting late last week with President Denis Sassou Nguesso of the Republic of the Congo, DRC President Joseph Kabila and the country’s Foreign Minister Alexis Thambwe Mwamba.

On Saturday, the facilitators also held talks with renegade general Laurent Nkunda, who heads the rebel militia known as the National Congress in Defense of the People (CNDP) that has been fighting Congolese armed forces (FARDC) in North Kivu province.

“The Special Envoy intends to remain closely engaged with the principals and other actors in the region,” UN spokesperson Marie Okabe said today, adding that he is looking ahead to a second summit of the region’s leaders tentatively scheduled for next month.

Escalating conflict between the FARDC and the CNDP has uprooted an estimated 250,000 people in the past three months, mainly in North Kivu, which borders Rwanda. Other armed groups, including the Mayi Mayi, have also been involved in deadly clashes, some of which have been along ethnic lines.

Last month, during his first round of consultations, Mr. Obasanjo held talks with Mr. Kabila, Mr. Nkunda and other regional leaders.

“All of them support the effort we are making now, but they also underlined the need to maintain the momentum,” he told reporters in New York last week, characterizing the first round of diplomatic efforts as “fairly good.”

In a related development, the Geneva-based Human Rights Council today adopted a resolution condemning the violence, human rights violations and abuses taking place in North Kivu.

The resolution was adopted by consensus, which came at the end of a special session on the human rights situation in the eastern DRC and noted the sexual violence and recruitment of child soldiers by militias.

It also urged the international community to address the root causes of the conflict and to continue helping the Government promote peace and stability.

In her address at the start of the session last week, Navi Pillay, the High Commissioner for Refugees, said that outbreaks of bloodshed will continue to occur in the area unless impunity is ended for those guilty of the worst violations.

“The DRC runs the risk of becoming a case study in how peace processes can go awry without the will to make justice and accountability an integral part of these processes,” she said.

“The prevailing culture of impunity contributes to this wide range of serious human rights violations,” Ms. Pillay told the 47-member body, adding that “unparalleled violence” against women continues, with rape being a particular concern.

Meanwhile, the Council’s Working Group for the Universal Periodic Review, a mechanism to examine the record of all 192 Member States created by the General Assembly in 2006, began its third session in Geneva today. The Group assessed the fulfilment of rights obligations by Botswana and the Bahamas.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


UN News: Rare Coral Reef Discovered Near Tahiti Is ‘Like A Work Of Art’, Says Diver
One of the largest coral reefs in the world has been discovered by a UN-supported scientific mission off the coast of Tahiti. Announcing the stunning find on Thursday, UNESCO said that divers had explored large rose-shaped corals spanning some three kilometres, at depths of between 30 and 65 metres... More>>


Tonga Eruption: At Least 3 Dead, Amid Severe Destruction
At least three people have died in Tonga following the massive volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami wave that hit over the weekend. Homes and other buildings across the archipelago have suffered major damage... More>>

Save The Children: Tonga Volcano Ash And Smoke Cause Concern For Air And Water Safety
Families in Tonga are at risk of exposure to unsafe air and water due to ash and smoke from the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano that erupted on Saturday, reports Save the Children...
More>>



Ethiopia: UN Chief Lauds ‘Demonstrable Effort To Make Peace’

The UN Secretary-General on Wednesday said he was “delighted” to learn that “a demonstrable effort to make peace” in Ethiopia is finally underway, according to information relayed to him by the African Union High Representative for the Horn of Africa... More>>


Tigray: Agencies Suspend Aid As ‘Scores’ Are Killed Due To Airstrikes
Recent airstrikes on camps for internally displaced persons and refugees in Tigray, northern Ethiopia, have reportedly killed scores of civilians, including children, and left many more injured... More>>


UN News: For 25th Year In A Row, Greenland Ice Sheet Shrinks

2021 marked the 25th year in a row in which the key Greenland ice sheet lost more mass during the melting season, than it gained during the winter, according to a new UN-endorsed report issued on Friday... More>>