The US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs is
expected to meet Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) President Joseph Kabila and
other Congolese officials Thursday to address ongoing clashes between the
government and the rebels in the restive North Kivu Province. Jendayi Frazer is
not expected to meet representatives of the rebel National Congress for the Defense of the Congolese People
(CNDP), a rebel faction loyal to renegade general Laurent Nkunda. Frazer will
also be in contact with the leadership in neighboring Rwanda,
which the DRC has accused of actively supporting the rebels, a charge Kigali denies.
Washington is supporting United Nations efforts to bolster the UN Mission in
the DRC force (MONUC), which has opened fire on rebel forces poised to capture
Goma, the capital of North Kivu.
capital, Kinshasa, MONUC spokesman Madnodje Mounoubai tells reporter Peter
Clottey that Frazer's arrival sends a strong message to the feuding parties to
"I think the visit of Miss
Frazer today in the DRC is a good thing. First of all, she is coming from the
United States, which is a permanent member of the Security Council. This shows
that the United States is interested in what is going on in this country. And
the second thing is that she would be able to meet with the different
authorities here. And I'm sure they would pass on the message to them and she
would show them that her country is interested in what is going on here and it
would be interesting to see what happens after her visit," Mounoubai noted.
He said the US assistant
secretary is expected to meet the UN special representative in the Democratic
Republic of Congo.
"She will also meet with the
special representative of the UN secretary general, Mr. Alan Doss, to discuss
the overall situation in the DRC and particularly what is going on in the
eastern part of this country. You may recall that two weeks ago, Mr. Doss was
before the Security Council to present a report about the situation in the DRC
and requested for an additional force and other means in order for the mission
to carry its mission in the best possible condition," he said.
Mounoubai said Washington's
support is a significant boost to the efforts of the United Nations mission in
"The United States plays a
major role in financing different UN agencies that carry the humanitarian work.
So a clear support expressed by a member of the US administration towards the
end of what is going on and also to assist all the displaced persons is
important because I'm sure that the agency would take advantage of the presence
of Miss Frazer here to present to her an overall situation of the displaced
people and of the humanitarian situation. And I think that the report that Miss
Frazer is going to take back to her government would impact the financing of
those agencies so that they would best assist all those displaced," Mounoubai
He said the recent outburst
of anger expressed by residents against the UN in the DRC emanates from deep
frustration with the escalating clashes between the national army and the
rebels loyal to renegade army General Laurent Nkunda.
"I think it is just a matter
of perception, and also it is an added frustration that these people have been
experiencing for the past year. In North Kivu, we have about 50 mobile military
bases and none of those bases have moved since the fighting started. And each
time there is a fight in the area, the first place where the population would
go to find security and protection is to be around MONUC military bases, which
shows that at least they trust MONUC," he said.
Mounoubai said the United
Nations would not abdicate its responsibility of protecting the innocent
civilians caught in the clashes between the government and the rebels.
people would like to see MONUC take up the task that should be carried on by
the national forces. We are not here to fight. We are here to give peace a
chance, and that is what we are trying to do. But they want us to be at the
forefront of the fight against the rebels, and this is not our mandate,"
Mounoubai pointed out.