DRC violence intolerable, peace envoy says

May 22, 2013 at 10:53 AM

GENEVA, Switzerland, May 22 (UPI) -- Conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo is taking an intolerable toll on the civilian population, peace envoy Mary Robinson said.

The United Nations reports that rebels from the March 23 Movement have stepped up their campaign against DRC forces in the east of the country. The move is seen as a response to the U.N. deployment of a special peacekeeping brigade that's sanctioned to take offensive measures to ensure DRC stability.

Former Irish President Mary Robinson, acting as a U.N. envoy for the Great Lakes region in Africa, expressed frustration about violence in DRC.

"The suffering and displacement of the people, especially women and children, in eastern DRC and beyond have gone on for too long and cannot be tolerated any further," she said in a statement.

M23 members are suspected of war crimes. Rebel leader Bosco Ntganada surrendered to the International Criminal Court to face charges of committing crimes against humanity.

Robinson unveiled a peace proposal calling for a broad-based disarmament campaign.

"Any agreements reached between the parties should contribute to breaking the cycle of violence and impunity for human rights abuses," she said.

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