Patience with DRC conflict eroding

June 28, 2013 at 11:47 AM

WASHINGTON, June 28 (UPI) -- Patience with ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo is wearing thin among U.S. lawmakers, a Republican leader said.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry last week appointed former Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., to serve as a special envoy for the Great Lakes region of Africa. The region includes trouble spots such as Uganda and the DRC.

U.S. Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said lawmakers passed a resolution late Thursday calling attention to the region. Patience among members of a peacekeeping mission mandated to use force to restore national security is wearing thin, he said.

"Too many people have died. Too many people continue to suffer," he said in a statement.

The resolution calls on President Obama to mobilize a "comprehensive response" to prevent the further deterioration of regional peace.

A delegation from the International Criminal Court visited DRC this week. The court is considering six DRC war crimes cases.

U.N. special envoy for DRC Roger Meece condemned the reported rape of nine girls less than 12 years of age in the past two months in the country. Two of the girls died as a result of sexual assault.

"Such violence and abuse is unacceptable and must be brought to an immediate end," he said in a statement.

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