DR Congo

DR Congo: The process of peace in North Kivu

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Tahirou Diao / MONUC

Two official independent events occurred in North Kivu on Tuesday June 5 2007, and they appear to be part of the long process which must lead the DRC towards peace and stability, the first was a conference on the Poverty Reduction Strategy Document (DSRP) of the DRC government, and the second was the launch of a justice restoration programme for eastern DRC (REJUSCO).

The first event was a conference day held at the Ihusi hotel in Goma on the perspectives in relation to the DRC government's Poverty Reduction Strategy Document (DSRP), under the aegis of the provincial authorities and the town mayor.

As well as the presentation of this document, one women's development network and two UNDP expositions took place on the theme of good governance and citizen participation within the structure of the DSRP.

These expositions were followed by a presentation from MONUC Goma's Civil Affairs division on the new MONUC mandate after the elections.

The DSRP is an exhaustive document that records the context and process of poverty in the country, and which also illuminates the issue of poverty at a provincial level, as well as defining strategies and mechanisms to tackle it.

The DSRP presentation and the different expositions encouraged lively debate between an important group of people representing the different sectors of activity in the province.

The second event was the official launch of the restoration programme for justice in eastern DRC (REJUSCO) at the Hotel Karibu in Goma. The governor of the province expressed in clear terms the wish to see Goma not in terms of a starting point for war in the DRC, but as a starting point for peace.

This programme, supported by the European commission, Belgium, the UK and the Netherlands, aims to revitalize justice in Ituri and the two Kivu provinces, through the rehabilitation and/or construction of centres of justice and detention; support so that justice can adequately function; especially in penal procedures; the monitoring of centres of detention and sensibilisation on individual rights.

The elabouration of the DSRP and the launch of the REJUSCO programme underlines the perspectives of the relaunch of political, economic and social life in the DRC. The new MONUC mandate fits into this vision towards durable development, and all these initiatives carry this hope.

However, in the juridico-politico-social context of the day, it would seem also useful and judicious to make an appeal- beyond the external donors whose engagement must be welcomed- with an approach increasingly more participative and resting more on a local base, following a period of sensitizing and development of local capacities.

Particularly with regard to the REJUSO programme, and taking into account the deterioration and lack of institutions and legal procedures worthy of a true justice system, it is more than urgent to act. But a whole problem needs a total, more durable solution, anchored in internal and autonomous processes.