AU field mission to eastern DR Congo

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An African Union (AU) field mission spent three days in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) “obtaining first-hand information” regarding ongoing violence and attacks on civilians, particularly in the eastern part of the country.

An AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) statement has it the field mission, under the leadership of Ambassador Willy Nyamitwe of Burundi, will allow the continental bloc to better inform its decisions on “steps and interventions” to support the government and people of DRC to address peace and security challenges more effectively.

“To do so, the field mission engaged stakeholders in Kinshasa and Goma, including DRC government at national and provincial levels, African Diplomatic Corps in DRC, the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in DRC (MONUSCO), Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC) and the East African Community (EAC) Regional Force, Civil Society organisations, internally displaced people and the international community.

During the field mission, the AU PSC will reaffirm unwavering commitment to respect the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of DRC and its solidarity with the people and government of DRC in “legitimate aspirations for peace, stability and socio-economic development”.

Post the mission, the AU PSC “noted with deep concern reported inter-communal violence and armed clashes in parts of the country”. It calls for a high level peace committee, including local community and traditional leaders to find practical solutions. At the same time affected communities should work closely with the committee toward “an inclusive process of holistically addressing fundamental root causes”, with a view to promoting durable peace and reconciliation in affected areas.