DRC rebel forces given notice by U.N. envoy

Dec. 12, 2013 at 11:54 AM
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UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- U.N. special envoy to the Democratic Republic of Congo Martin Kobler said it's time to take on the many rebel groups destabilizing the troubled African nation.

Multilateral efforts are underway in neighboring Uganda to formalize a peace agreement with the DRC government and the rebel March 23 Movement. M23 is composed of soldiers who mutinied last year.

Kobler told the U.N. Security Council that with peace efforts making progress in Uganda, it was time to go after other rebel forces in DRC.

"We will go on with this fight against all armed groups," he said in a statement Wednesday.

The United Nations authorized a special brigade in the peacekeeping mission in DRC to use military force in an effort to ensure stability in the country. Kobler recently announced the mission was using unmanned surveillance drones to patrol eastern DRC.

International aid consortium Oxfam says there are dozens of armed groups fighting in eastern DRC.

Kobler said the situation in DRC is less severe than when the M23 rebellion was in full swing earlier this year. Unless political momentum develops behind emerging stability, he warned, "we will go back to square one."

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