Don't let DRC fail, U.S. says

Feb. 13, 2013 at 10:58 AM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- The Democratic Republic of Congo won't achieve stability without the help of the international community, said a U.S. official in charge of African affairs.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Johnnie Carson told the Brookings Institution that DRC has been "a poster child" for problems plaguing the African continent since the 1960s.

It would be a "serious mistake" to ignore issues ranging from under development, conflict minerals, military coups and poor governance, he said.

About 800,000 civilians were displaced by fighting that began in May when the rebel March 23 Movement started a mutiny, accusing Kinshasa of reneging on a peace deal that saw former rebels integrated into the national military.

M23 in late 2012 captured Goma, the capital of North Kivu province, but withdrew. The U.N. Organization Stabilization Mission in DRC said it has close to 11,000 troops deployed to North Kivu and South Kivu provinces to monitor the situation.

Carson said the international community has a responsibility to act to help find a way to bring long-term security to the DRC in order to improve overall regional stability.

"I think that the international community has a moral imperative to act more effectively in the DRC to break this cycle of death and suffering and to address the other consequences of this violence," he said.

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