Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila has reportedly welcomed a proposal by the United Nations Mission in the country to use political pressure to end insurgency from armed groups in the country. The U.N. proposal would involve the cooperation of all armed groups in the country to ensure peace and security in the restive North Kivu province. It also appealed to the Security Council to approve new military equipment to help ensure peace and stability in the country.
Jack Kohora is VOA correspondent in the Democratic Republic of Congo. From the North Kivu province he tells reporter Peter Clottey the U.N mission’s new proposal is a step in the right direction.
“The new approach, which was proposed by the U.N. Security Council emphasizes more on political pressure for the time being. It means this is going to involve all the armed groups, which signed this deal in January to get involved and really to go on until the end of the process so that peace can be restored. If this is not respected the U.N. Security Council said that it is going to use force and the ICC (International Criminal Court) international justice pressure would be used. These are the two other solutions or two other ways the Security Council would use to solve the problem if the different leaders of armed groups don’t get on the opportunity to be involved in the political solution,” Kohora pointed out.
He said the Kinshasa government has welcomed with opened arms the new U.N proposal.
“I personally spoke to the governor of the North Kivu province, and he thinks it is really a good way to solve the problem because for the time being we are counting about 857,000 IDP’s (Internally Displaced Persons), and if they have to use force again to disarm the different groups, it would be another disaster,” he said.
Kohora said the governor concurred that applying political pressure to end insurgency in the restive province is the best way forward.
“For him (governor) the fact of proposing the political pressure as the need to solve their problem is really very positive. And that is why even in the position of the governor it was to ask the Security Council to support the program called AMANI (is an independent, voluntary action-based African parliamentary initiative committed to peace in the Great Lakes region), that is the program that has been launched since January 2008 after the signature of the peace deal in North Kivu,” Kohora noted.
He said the U.N. proposal of using political pressure to end violence in the restive North Kivu province has no known specific time limit.
“The fact is the Security Council didn’t give the period for that, but there is a program, which has been already prepared. This is the AMANI program, which is going on for the time being. There is a calendar, which has been already elaborated by the different armed groups, which are attending the program. And they have to respect the program, which has been proposed by the leaders of the armed groups themselves before the Security Council takes any other decision,” he said.
Kohora said if the new proposal fails there would possibly be a military option to end the conflicts that have plagued the North Kivu province.
“So, if by the end of this program, which was accepted by all the different groups is not respected, then the Security Council can be informed so that they can take any other decision to restore peace in the region,” Kohora pointed out.