African nations sign DR Congo peace plan

Feb. 24, 2013 at 11:14 AM

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- The head of the United Nations said a peace pact signed Sunday was a first step in stabilizing the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was in Ethiopia Sunday for the formal signing of the U.N.-mediated agreement, which Voice of America said hinged on the formation of a regional military force to quell rebel violence in the DRC.

Ban said the deal "is only the beginning of a comprehensive approach that will require sustained engagement."

Violence has plagued the eastern half of the resource-rich DRC for two decades. The agreement signed Sunday revolves around a strategy of re-establishing an effective government presence in the region while choking off aid to the violent M23 militia.

BDLive.com in South Africa said the U.N. had recently identified Rwanda and Uganda as the primary sources of supplies for M23. Both nations were signatories to Sunday's agreement.

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