DR Congo

Commissioner Louis Michel goes to Nairobi to take part in the summit on the conflict in eastern DRC

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IP/08/1656

Brussels, 6 November 2008 - The European Commissioner responsible for development and humanitarian aid, Louis Michel, is to take part in the regional summit on the situation in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), to be held in Nairobi on Friday, 7 November.

"I welcome this summit as the embodiment of the initiative I proposed, in agreement with the DRC and Rwanda, at the end of my visit to Kinshasa and Kigali last week", said the Commissioner.

He added: "The conference will aim to establish a road map, designed to achieve concrete results and subject to conditions governing its implementation. The Nairobi Communiqué must reflect a joint approach to the threat posed to peace and stability by foreign and national armed groups within the DRC. It must be operational and effective, and must, in particular, specify the conditions for monitoring the commitments entered into by the parties concerned. Within Congo itself, the Conference should also help to establish a direct political dialogue between the Congolese authorities and the National People's Defence Committee".

Following contacts made in the field last week, Louis Michel had reiterated that "the only remaining viable option is a political one based on dialogue and negotiation", while "pursuing the military option leads only to a deterioration in the situation and increased suffering for the people".

At the same time, he had welcomed the plan for overcoming the crisis endorsed by Congo's National Assembly on 29 October 2008, which stresses the need for direct political dialogue with the National People's Defence Committee and the need to take action with an impact on all the factors underlying the conflict, particularly the presence of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda in DRC and the illegal exploitation of mineral resources.