U.N. envoys push for peace in DRC

Sept. 6, 2013 at 9:56 AM
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KAMPALA, Uganda, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- The United Nations said it was hopeful talks under way in Kampala would encourage DRC and rebel groups to return to the negotiating table.

Former Irish President Mary Robinson, serving as U.N. special envoy to Africa's Great Lakes region, joined U.N. special envoy to the Democratic Republic of Congo Martin Kobler for talks in Uganda.

Regional leaders gathered in Kampala under the auspices of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who serves also as the chairman of the International Conference for the Great Lakes region.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said last week he was deeply concerned by the deteriorating security situation in the eastern DRC. He condemned the "indiscriminate shelling" by the rebel March 23 Movement, which left civilians dead in recent fighting. Some of the conflict reportedly spilled across the border to Rwanda.

A spokesman for the United Nations said Robinson, Kobler and other peace delegates "urged all parties to bring the Kampala Dialogue to a positive and swift conclusion, in order to move to a broader process addressing the deeper causes of the conflict."

M23 mutinied last year, accusing the DRC government of reneging on a peace agreement. It seized control of parts of eastern DRC in late 2012, but later withdrew under the eye of U.N. peacekeepers.

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