DRC longs for peace, U.N. envoy says

June 5, 2013 at 10:58 AM
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UNITED NATIONS, June 5 (UPI) -- There's a strong desire in the Democratic Republic of Congo for a sense of calm, a U.N. coordinator of humanitarian affairs said.

Kyung-wha Kang, deputy emergency relief coordinator at the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, briefed reporters on her May visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

She said in statements published Tuesday there was a "great" longing for peace in DRC. Those affected by conflict "appealed very earnestly for peace so that they could resume their lives and livelihoods," she said.

She expressed concern humanitarian relief efforts in DRC were underfunded. An appeal in 2013 for $892 million in aid is 37 percent funded.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim visited eastern DRC in May as part of a three-day tour of the Great Lakes region of Africa.

Ban described a broad-based regional security framework for DRC as a "framework for hope." He expressed frustration with rampant human rights abuses, including the use of rape as a weapon of war. Development aid, however, and a U.N. brigade authorized to conduct offensive operations may bring benefits to DRC.

Violence erupted in DRC last year when the rebel March 23 Movement seized territory in the east.

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