MONUC has markedly stepped up its military presence in North Kivu, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for the DRC, Alan Doss told on 19 November 2008, during the weekly press conference.
Mr. Doss explained that MONUC troops' reconfiguration was well underway with the new redeployment scheduled by end-November. In Goma, as an example, MONUC has not only enhanced its security operations but is also ensuring the safety of the local authorities, he said, stressing that the Mission is conducting those operations with a view to separating the warring factions along the Kanyabayonga-Luberizi-Rwindi-Ndeko-Kishiro axis.
Still in Goma, MONUC has been putting the finishing touches to rehabilitation work to facilitate the relocation of 65,000 displaced from Kibati to Mugunga III, far from the front line for better protection and assistance.
The Special Representative took the opportunity to review MONUC's activities in eastern DRC. In Ituri, he said, peacekeepers continue to provide support and assistance to the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) in the fight against the militia members still active in the region. Progress is reported in spite of the obstacles.
In South Kivu, MONUC has facilitated a meeting between the Governor and the leaders of the Maï Maï groups Zabuloni and Shikoto Pakistani peacekeepers' camp in Uvira. The meeting culminated in an agreement in principle on the settlement of members of both groups in the Luberizi training camp as well as their demobilization, starting next week.
Alan Doss also condemned the killing of unarmed civilians in Kiwanja. "These are cases which can be considered as war crimes and crimes against humanity within the competence of the ICC. Such acts will thoroughly be investigated and we will do everything in our power to support the process," he said.
The Head of MONUC also announced his trip to New York within the next few days to participate in consultations preceding the review by the UN Security Council of the Mission by end of the month. ''We hope the Security Council will adopt a resolution authorizing the reinforcement of MONUC's military and police strengths'', he concluded.