DR Congo

Statement from Minister Cannon on Nairobi summit to address situation in Democratic Republic of Congo

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The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement in light of the upcoming regional meeting taking place in Nairobi on Friday, November 7, 2008, under the auspices of the African Union and the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region:

"Canada is deeply concerned about the recent increase of violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. We welcome the initiative of the African Union and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region in convening a regional summit to address the deteriorating situation. We urge regional leaders to take the necessary steps to resolve the crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"The local population has suffered greatly and needs peace and stability. Canada calls on all parties to respect international humanitarian law, to protect civilians-women in particular-and to ensure full, safe and unhindered access by humanitarian workers.

"In 2008, the Government of Canada, through the Canadian International Development Agency, has provided $8.4 million in humanitarian assistance and food aid to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Canada also has contributed $15 million to help victims of sexual violence in the country and to prevent further sexual crimes."