Turkey latest to weigh in on DRC peace

March 1, 2013 at 9:17 AM

ANKARA, Turkey, March 1 (UPI) -- The Turkish government stressed the "great importance" of the broad support needed to ensure peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Leaders from 10 countries, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the United Nations signed a framework for peace last weekend in Ethiopia.

The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it viewed the agreement as a "significant step" toward peace and stability in DRC and the broader Great Lakes region of Africa.

Hundreds of thousands of DRC civilians were displaced when the rebel March 23 Movement mutinied last year, complaining the government reneged on early peace deals.

Arab broadcaster al-Jazeera said thousands of people have fled to a U.N. base in eastern DRC amid renewed fighting between Congolese troops and rebel forces.

"It is of great importance that all parties will give the necessary support for the implementation of the agreement in a way which will be appropriate to its spirit and that this opportunity will not be missed," the Turkish ministry said.

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