3 September 2019

Activities of Secretary-General in Democratic Republic of Congo, including Kenya Stopover, 30 August-2 September

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres left Japan for the Democratic Republic of the Congo early on Friday, 30 August.

He stopped over in Nairobi, Kenya, where he spent Friday night, and took off for Goma on Saturday morning.  Upon arrival in Goma, he was greeted by the Governor of North Kivu Province, Carly Nzanzu Kasivita, and said his visit was one of solidarity with the Congolese people.

He met with troops from the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) the United Nations leadership and staff based in the country, as well as with humanitarian partners working in the eastern provinces.

The Secretary-General also visited a transit centre for ex-combatants in Munigi, where he stressed the need to support the reintegration of foreign and Congolese ex-combatants and their dependents into their communities of origin.

The next day, Sunday, 1 September, he travelled to Beni, where he reiterated that the United Nations had heard the distress of the population affected by the Allied Democratic Forces and other armed groups.

He paid tribute to the United Nations soldiers killed in the fight against the Allied Democratic Forces and stressed the need to improve the operations in support of the Congolese army.

In the afternoon, alongside the Director General of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Secretary-General visited an Ebola treatment centre in the nearby town of Mangina, where the epidemic started 13 months ago.  There, he met with Ebola survivors just released from the centre and expressed his admiration for them and for all Ebola caretakers.

In the evening, he flew to Kinshasa for meetings the next day, Monday, 2 September, with President Félix Tshilombo Tshisekedi, Prime Minister Sylvestre Ilunga Ilunkamba, President of the National Assembly Jeanine Mabunda, parliamentarians, representatives of the majority and the opposition, as well as civil society representatives.

At a press conference, he said he noticed winds of hope blowing in the country and expressed his belief that the Democratic Republic of the Congo was living a historic moment.  The United Nations will not abandon the Congolese people, he stressed.

In the evening, the Secretary-General left Kinshasa for New York, where he arrived on Tuesday, 3 September.

For information media. Not an official record.