U.N. peace envoy tours DRC

KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- Detailed negotiations over the future prospects for the Democratic Republic of Congo are need to usher in an era of peace, a U.N. regional envoy said.

Former Irish President Mary Robinson, serving as a U.N. special envoy for the Great Lakes region of Africa, kicked off a regional tour this week.


Members of the March 23 Movement mutinied last year, seizing control of parts of eastern DRC before retreating under the eye of U.N. peacekeepers. Fighting has rekindled and U.N. peacekeepers are fighting alongside Congolese forces as they battle M23 rebels.

Robinson said from the DRC she was calling on all parties to the conflict to sit down at the negotiating table to resolve their differences peacefully.

"What the DRC and the region need is peace, stability and economic development," she said in a statement published Monday. "This can only be achieved by tackling the root causes of the conflict through a comprehensive political process."

Robinson is touring the DRC with the country's U.N. envoy, Martin Kobler. Kobler said last month he's lost his patience with the rebel movement.


M23 leader Bosco Ntaganda surrendered to the International Criminal Court early this year to face war crimes charges. Rwanda is suspected of backing the movement, an allegation the government denies

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