Goma, 27 January 2012 - Following his arrival in Kinshasa on 24 January 2012, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Hervé Ladsous, traveled to Goma, the capital of Nord Kivu province, on 27 January, with Roger Meece, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General and Head of the UN Stabilization Mission in the D.R. Congo (MONUSCO). Mr. Ladsous received a warm welcome from the provincial governor, Julien Paluku, as well as a number of civilian and military officials from MONUSCO’s Nord Kivu office.
The Head of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations then proceeded to MONUSCO’s local headquarters, where he was given military honors by the Indian soldiers who form the bulk of the peacekeeping force in the province.
Mr. Ladsous said he came to Goma “to strengthen the relations between the UN and Nord Kivu province.” The Under-Secretary-General also said he wished “to have first-hand information on the current security threat in the province as well as the challenges it poses for the future.”
In addition to meeting with political and military authorities, and civil society representatives, Mr. Ladsous visited Ntoto, a town at mid-point between Walikalé and Masisi, two territories that have suffered in the hands of various armed groups in recent weeks. Mr. Ladsous ended his visit to the DRC on Saturday, 28 January 2012, and took off for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to attend the opening ceremony of the Ordinary Session of Heads of States and Governments of the African Union (AU).