Kerry to chair UN meeting on Congo peace deal

Jul 2, 2013, 11:22 PM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will preside over a ministerial meeting of the U.N. Security Council this month to push for implementation of a peace accord signed by 11 African nations to end years of fighting in eastern Congo.

Acting U.S. Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo, the council president for July, told reporters Tuesday that the United States wants to keep the spotlight on the Feb. 24 peace accord, encourage signatories to live up to their commitments and underline the need to tackle the underlying causes of the conflict in the region.

In a report to the council late Monday, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the signing of the agreement and the diplomatic and political initiatives that followed have raised expectations that the crisis could be resolved.

The agreement has contributed “to containing the protracted crisis,” he said. “However, the situation remains tense with episodes of deadly fighting indicative of its continuing volatility.”

The Congo conflict is a spillover from the 1994 genocide in neighboring Rwanda. Hundreds of Hutus who participated in the mass slaughter escaped into Congo and still fight there.

DiCarlo said the July 25 council meeting chaired by Kerry will include briefings by the secretary-general, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, U.N. special envoy for Africa’s Great Lakes region Mary Robinson and representatives from Congo, Uganda and the African Union. Rwanda, which is serving a two-year term on the Security Council, is also sending a high-level representative, she said.

The signatories of the peace deal include Rwanda and Uganda, which were accused in a U.N. report last year of helping aid the M23 rebel group which swept through eastern Congo in 2012 and captured Goma in November but pulled out under international pressure. The M23, whose movement began in April 2012 when hundreds of troops defected from the Congolese armed forces, is an incarnation of a group of Congolese Tutsi set up to fight the Rwandan Hutu rebels in Congo.

Both Rwanda and Uganda deny aiding the M23. A report this weekend by U.N. experts monitoring sanctions against Congo said Rwandan support for the M23 movement has waned but not ended in the past six months.

The secretary-general’s report said the recurring cycle of violence in eastern Congo “poses a major obstacle to the consolidation of peace and greatly undermines … Congo’s development prospects.” This is compounded by years of mistrust between Congo and its eastern neighbors, which include Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda, he said.

Ban said he is nonetheless encouraged to see leaders in the region continuing to talk to each other. He also welcomed the resumption of talks in Uganda between the Congolese government and the M23, saying they remain “a viable option for finding a peaceful solution to the crisis.”

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

FILE - A U.S. Navy Seahawk helicopter flies over a stateless dhow later found to be carrying a hidd...
Associated Press

US Navy offers cash for tips to seize Mideast drugs, weapons

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The U.S. Navy’s Mideast-based 5th Fleet is starting to offer rewards for information that could help sailors intercept weapons, drugs and other illicit shipments across the region amid tensions over Iran’s nuclear program and Tehran’s arming of Yemen’s Houthi rebels. While avoiding directly mentioning Iran, the 5th Fleet’s decision […]
1 day ago
A person wearing a protective mask watches an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 ind...
Associated Press

World shares mostly higher ahead of July 4 holiday in US

BANGKOK (AP) — World shares are mostly higher while U.S. futures fell ahead of the July 4 holiday in the U.S. Benchmarks rose in London, Paris, Frankfurt and Tokyo but fell in Hong Kong and Seoul. Last week was the fourth losing week in the last five for Wall Street as investors fret over high […]
1 day ago
FILE - Fireworks explode over Baltimore's Inner Harbor during the Ports America Chesapeake 4th of J...
Associated Press

A turbulent US this July 4, but many see cause to celebrate

Independence Day arrives at a time when the United States is roiled by hearings over the Jan. 6 insurrection, awash in turmoil over high court rulings on abortion and guns and struggling to maintain the common bonds that keep it together. Yet many also see cause to celebrate: The pandemic continues to be on the […]
1 day ago
FILE - Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6...
Associated Press

Jan 6 panel: More people turn up with evidence against Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — More witnesses are coming forward with new details on the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot following former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson’s devastating testimony last week against former President Donald Trump, says a member of a House committee investigating the insurrection. The panel already has subpoenaed former White House counsel Pat Cipollone, […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Today in History: July 4, Declaration of Independence

Today in History Today is Monday, July 4, the 185th day of 2022. There are 180 days left in the year. This is Independence Day. Today’s Highlight in History: On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted by delegates to the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia. On this date: In 1802, the United […]
1 day ago
This image released by Bleecker Street shows Freida Pinto, left, and Zawe Ashton in a scene from "M...
Associated Press

‘Minions’ set box office on fire with $108.5 million debut

Families went bananas for Minions this weekend at the movie theater. ” Minions: The Rise of Gru ” brought in an estimated $108.5 million in ticket sales from 4,391 screens in North America, Universal Pictures said Sunday. By the end of the Monday’s July Fourth holiday, it will likely have earned over $127.9 million. The […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
Christina O’Haver

BE FAST to spot a stroke

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
Kerry to chair UN meeting on Congo peace deal