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Secretary-General Welcomes Initiatives in Democratic Republic of Congo, Greater East African Region Promoting Stability, Development, Political Inclusion

The following statement was issued by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General António Guterres

The Secretary-General welcomes the efforts of President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, and other Eastern African leaders to promote peace, stability and development in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the greater East African region.  He commends the leaders of the region for their determination in working towards these objectives.

The Secretary-General notes the two-track approach decided by the Heads of State Conclave, including the formation of a regional force and the revamping of an inclusive political process.  He emphasizes the need for effective coordination between the regional force and the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), which is essential to ensure the protection of civilians.  He urges all local armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to participate unconditionally in the political process, and all foreign armed groups to disarm and return unconditionally and immediately to their respective countries of origin.

The Secretary-General stresses the importance of a comprehensive strategy to address the root causes of the conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, including non-military measures, and the effective implementation of existing transitional justice and the Disarmament, Demobilization, Repatriation, Reintegration and Resettlement Division programmes.

The Secretary-General calls for a continued, frank and open dialogue among all stakeholders with a view to resolving tensions and strengthening trust and confidence.  He reaffirms that the United Nations will continue to support the countries of the region in longer-term peacebuilding efforts aimed at achieving accountability and consolidating peace and security gains.

For information media. Not an official record.