The United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of
Congo (MONUC) says it is hopeful peace can be restored in the restive North
Kivu province. MONUC said the UN Special Envoy to the country is working hard
to end the fierce clashes between the national army and the National
Congress for the Defense of People (CNDP) rebel group. This comes after President Joseph Kabila's government
Tuesday described demands by renegade army General Laurent Nkunda for direct
talks with the government as impossible. Madnoudje Mounoubai is the spokesman
for MONUC. He tells reporter Peter Clottey from the capital, Kinshasa that the
United Nations wants both the government and the rebels to begin talking to
each other to end the instability in the country.
I know is that the UN is still continuing in its effort to get all the parties
together to talk to each other. President Obasanjo is scheduled to come back to
the region, and he would be here probably this weekend and he would have a new
round of talks with President Kabila. And he would also to go to Goma and
eventually also meet Nkunda. So, we think these are good signs because the
talks are still on and President Obasanjo is going to get all the parties
together to try to do something. So, there is till hope," Mounoubai said.
disagreed that the stance taken by Kinshasa not to have direct talks with the
renegade army general would complicate UN efforts at brokering peace in the
don't know what position you are referring to, but if President Kabila has
agreed that Mr. Obasanjo can come back to the country, I think this is already
a good sign. And he has already had a meeting scheduled; they are going to meet
and they are going to talk. So, it is a negotiation and negotiations are never
easy and we have to trust the special envoy of the secretary general (of the
UN). We know that he is a seasoned diplomat and he would be able to iron out
all the differences that might exist for the time being and at the end of the
day something good would come out of it," he said.
said the United Nations is doing all it can to alleviate the suffering of those
adversely affected by the clashes between the national army and the rebels.
understand the frustration of the people because in most areas we are probably
the only organized force to give them assistance and protection. So, its
natural I would say for them to expect more from MONUC. But we are doing our
best wherever we are, we are patrolling the area and we are giving protection
to those people that are under our area I would say of responsibility. But we
need the cooperation of all parties involved for this ceasefire to hold and to
give chance to the talks that is going to start here," Mounoubai pointed out.
UN Special Envoy to the DRC,
Olusegun Obasanjo, who is also former President of Nigeria, has called on
President Kabila to hold negotiations with Nkunda, whose rebels have won
territory in the eastern province of North Kivu.
Obasanjo also said the rebel leader has demanded direct
talks with the Congolese government, protection of minorities, and integration
of his soldiers into the Congolese army and government.