UN Security Council worried by Congo conflict despite peace pact
The UN Security Council said Sunday it is deeply concerned by worsening unrest in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo despite a new attempted peace accord for the troubled region.
The 15-member council, which currently includes Rwanda, renewed its condemnation of the M23 group which has seized territory in eastern DR Congo and is one of the key targets of the UN accord signed Sunday by 11 African countries in Addis Ababa.
Rwanda and Uganda, both signatories of the new accord, have been accused by UN experts of giving backing to M23 which launched an uprising against the DR Congo government last year.
The council welcomed the accord, brokered by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, but envoys said they "remain deeply concerned by the worsening security and humanitarian situation" in the mineral-rich region.
"They reiterate their demand that the M23 cease immediately attempts to establish an illegitimate parallel administration," said a statement released by the council.
The council also demanded that M23, the ethnic-Hutu Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and other armed groups end "all forms of violence and destabilizing activities."
The head of the UN mission in DR Congo, Roger Meece, warned Friday that serious conflict could erupt at any time. "The overall situation is volatile and precarious, and could break down at any time into large-scale conflict without much, if any, prior warning," Meece told the Security Council.
DR Congo, South Africa, Mozambique, Rwanda, Congo, Tanzania, Uganda, Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic and Zambia signed the accord which calls on regional nations to refrain from interfering in each other's affairs.
It also aims to reform DR Congo's weak institutions and could lead to the establishment of a special UN "intervention brigade" in eastern DR Congo as well as the naming of a special envoy for the Great Lakes region.