The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mr. Namanga Ngongi, has concluded consultations with the governments of the DRC, Uganda, Rwanda and RCD/G, following unconfirmed allegations of troop-movements particularly in the Northeast of the DRC. In the same context, Mr. Ngongi also dispatched to Kigali, MONUC Force Commander, General Mountaga Diallo, on Tuesday, 4 February 2003.
These consultations aimed to address the concerns voiced by the three countries and most importantly to prevent a possible outbreak of new fighting.
The following responses were received:
- The DRC government admitted the presence of FAC officers in Beni in the framework of RCD-K ML Force integration into the future Congolese national army.
- Ugandan authorities denied any troop-deployment close to their border with the DRC, to the north of Mahagi.
- Rwandan authorities reaffirmed that they no longer had troops in the Democratic Republic of the Congo following their withdrawal from the DRC last October.
- RCD-GOMA announced it had withdrawn from Luofu, 15 km North West of Kanyabayonga (northern Kivu) and no further troop movements are reported around Kanyabayonga.
To date, the MONUC military observers who carried out verifications in the areas to which they had access, confirmed neither the presence of Ugandan troops elsewhere other than at Bunia airport - nor the presence of Rwandan troops in Ituri or Eastern DRC. MONUC, in the framework of its mandate, continues its verification operations regarding foreign troop-withdrawal from the DRC.
The Special Representative welcomes the assurances given by all the Parties. Mr. Ngongi also hopes that these declarations will contribute to defusing the persisting tension, which prevails in the Northeast of the DRC and urges all the Parties to pursue their efforts in the framework of the peace process.