United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon is expected to
meet Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila and Rwanda President
Paul Kagame soon to resolve the ongoing rebel insurgency in eastern Congo. The
Secretary General expressed optimism about the upcoming meeting after both
presidents held telephone discussions about finding ways to resolve the
escalating violence in Congo's North Kivu province. This comes after several
African heads of state called upon the African Union to hold an emergency
meeting to discuss a lasting solution to the Congo crisis, which has led to a
loss of lives and a dramatic increase in the number of internally displaced
people. The leaders contend that the fighting has become a threat to
African peace and security, which they claim threaten to further impoverish the
continent by diverting attention away from Africa's development needs.
Mounoubai is the spokesman for the United Nations Mission in DRC (MONUC). Form
the capital, Kinshasa, he tells reporter Peter Clottey that the upcoming
meeting between the secretary general and the two presidents could set the tone
for a resolution of the escalated violence.
"I think this is good news
and I hope that the presidents of the DRC and Rwanda will take up the secretary
general on his proposal. Indeed I think and I hope that if this meeting takes
place, it would open a new era and new possibilities for a lasting peace, not
only in DRC, but also in the region of the Great Lakes," Mounoubai noted.
He said the meeting could
help resolve the escalating violence.
"Of course, each time there
is a conflict and people accept to meet directly, it is a good thing. And I
agree with the statement of the secretary general if President Kabila and
President Kagame do meet, this is going to be a good thing for the region," he
Mounoubai said that MONUC
has stepped up humanitarian efforts to help those adversely affected by the
"Today there was a convoy
that left from Goma for Rutshuru about 70 kilometers north. The convoy took
along some medical kits for the hospitals in the region and also some materials
to repair the water supply in Rutshuru. The convoy was escorted by MONUC, and
this is only the first operation because the team is going to stay on the
ground for three days to make a comprehensive assessment of the situation in
terms of how many IDPs are in the area. And also in terms of their needs, in
order to assist them in the coming days," Mounoubai pointed out.
He said although victims of
the violence expressed irritation, all efforts are being made to help protect
"We can understand their
frustration. You must remember that some of these people have been to two to
three or four IDP camps within the last two three years. As far as MONUC on the
ground is concerned, the troops on the ground have been very active in terms of
protecting the civilians. And in all these different areas, MONUC troops on the
ground are providing enormous protection," he said.
offensive by the Tutsi National Congress for the Defense of People (CNDP)
rebel group loyal to renegade General Laurent Nkunda, and killings and
looting by Congolese army troops, have reportedly created what foreign relief
workers refer to as a catastrophic situation in eastern Congo's North Kivu
Tanzania's President and current African Union chairman Jakaya Kikwete and AU
Commission chief Jean Ping proposed a regional summit during telephone talks
with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.