Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
License needed for work use Register

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


DR Congo: UN Envoy Calls for End to Hostilities

DR Congo: UN Envoy Calls for End to Hostilities, Focus On Political Process at Start of Visit

New York, Sep 2 2013 - The United Nations Special Envoy for Africa's Great Lake's region is in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to start a regional tour with envoys from the African Union, European Union and the United States to bolster diplomatic efforts for peace.

Mary Robinson's visit comes amid renewed intense fighting in the eastern DRC where over the past year, the M23, along with other armed groups, has clashed repeatedly with the DRC national forces (FARDC).

"I urge all parties concerned to immediately stop military confrontations in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and work to rebuild trust in peace efforts," the Special Envoy said at her arrival in the capital, Kinshasa, on Sunday.

"What the DRC and the region need is peace, stability and economic development. This can only be achieved by tackling the root causes of the conflict through a comprehensive political process," Mrs. Robinson stressed.

The envoy is accompanied by Martin Kobler, the new Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the DRC and head of the UN mission in the DR Congo (MONUSCO).

Prior to the start of the joint regional tour, she and Mr. Kobler are meeting with UN partners in the DRC, and travelling to Goma to "express solidarity with the civilian population and MONUSCO," according to Mrs. Robinson's office.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

During the four-day visit, scheduled to start on Wednesday, Mrs. Robinson and Mr. Kobler will speak with senior government officials and representatives of local authorities, the international community and civil society in the DRC, Uganda and Rwanda.

They will be joined by Boubacar Diarra, Special Representative of the African Union; Koen Vervaeke, European Union Senior Coordinator for the Great Lakes region; and Russ Feingold, US Special Envoy for the African Great Lakes region and the DRC.

The goal of the trip is to discourage further hostilities and to energize political efforts for peace in the region, including the so-called Kampala talks held under the auspices of the Chairperson of the International Conference for the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.

While in Kampala on 5 September, Mrs. Robinson and the envoys will attend an extraordinary session of the IGCLR focused on the crisis in eastern DRC.

According to Mrs. Robinson's office, they will stress the urgency of steps forward in the implementation of the 11-nation Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the region signed earlier this year under UN auspices as a comprehensive approach to sustainable peace in the region.

Mrs. Robinson had dubbed the accord a "framework of hope" and has repeatedly said that there is a renewed opportunity in eastern DRC and the Great Lakes to address the underlying causes of the conflict and stop the violence for good.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday said he was "deeply concerned" about the escalating violence and in particular by the indiscriminate shelling by the armed group M23 which caused deaths, injuries and damage among the civilian population in the eastern provinces as well as the immediate border area in Rwanda. A UN peacekeeper also died in one of the attacks.

In the past year, the fighting has displaced more than 100,000 people, exacerbating an ongoing humanitarian crisis in the region which includes 2.6 million internally displaced people (IDPs) and 6.4 million in need of food and emergency aid.

For more details go to UN News Centre at


© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
World Headlines

UN News: Aid Access Is Key Priority

Among the key issues facing diplomats is securing the release of a reported 199 Israeli hostages, seized during the Hamas raid. “History is watching,” says Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths. “This war was started by taking those hostages. Of course, there's a history between Palestinian people and the Israeli people, and I'm not denying any of that. But that act alone lit a fire, which can only be put out with the release of those hostages.” More

Save The Children: Four Earthquakes In a Week Leave Thousands Homeless

Families in western Afghanistan are reeling after a fourth earthquake hit Herat Province, crumbling buildings and forcing people to flee once again, with thousands now living in tents exposed to fierce winds and dust storms. The latest 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit 30 km outside of Herat on Sunday, shattering communities still reeling from strong and shallow aftershocks. More

UN News: Nowhere To Go In Gaza

UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said some 1.1M people would be expected to leave northern Gaza and that such a movement would be “impossible” without devastating humanitarian consequences and appeals for the order to be rescinded. The WHO joined the call for Israel to rescind the relocation order, which amounted to a “death sentence” for many. More

Access Now: Telecom Blackout In Gaza An Attack On Human Rights

By October 10, reports indicated that fixed-line internet, mobile data, SMS, telephone, and TV networks are all seriously compromised. With significant and increasing damage to the electrical grid, orders by the Israeli Ministry of Energy to stop supplying electricity and the last remaining power station now out of fuel, many are no longer able to charge devices that are essential to communicate and access information. More


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.