Mary Robinson sees hope for DRC

May 7, 2013 at 9:18 AM
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UNITED NATIONS, May 7 (UPI) -- There's a "fresh chance" to resolve underlying issues behind a cycle of violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a U.N. envoy said.

Former Irish President Mary Robinson, acting as a U.N. envoy for the Great Lakes region in Africa, told the U.N. Security Council there was a chance for renewed opportunity in DRC.

"There is a fresh chance to do more than just attend to the consequences of conflict," she said. "There is a chance to resolve its underlying causes and to stop it for good."

A framework adopted by African leaders and the international community is meant to find regional solutions to DRC challenges. Robinson said she welcomed regional commitments to resume stalled negotiations between DRC authorities and rebel forces from the March 23 Movement. M23 rebels seized control over parts of DRC last year.

The Security Council in March authorized a special brigade within the peacekeeping mission in DRC that's authorized to carry out operations against militant groups that threaten national security. Robinson said most people in the country supported though brigade, though some rights groups said they were concerned it would add to the crisis.

An 88-page report published Tuesday by Save the Children said that DRC war and poverty meant the country was the most difficult place for a mother to raise a child.

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