The Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, met today with President Joseph Kabila, in Kinshasa, as part of a five day trip to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to exchange views with members of the Government, local authorities, political and civil society actors on the current political, security and human rights situation in the country.
Throughout his visit, Mr. Lacroix reaffirmed the UN's commitment to support the full implementation of the 31 December Agreement through the good offices of the Secretary-General's Special Representative in the DRC, Maman Sidikou, and MONUSCO's efforts to help create a peaceful environment conducive to the holding of free, fair and inclusive elections by the end of the year.
The Under-Secretary-General conveyed the UN's deep concern over the continuing violence and grave human rights abuses in the Kasais. He underscored the importance of ensuring accountability for crimes committed by all sides and pledged the UN's full support in ensuring that those responsible for the killing of Michael Sharp and Zaida Catalán are brought to justice. On Wednesday, he traveled to Kananga, the capital of Kasai province, to express the UN's solidarity with the people of the region and discuss ongoing efforts to strengthen MONUSCO's presence in the region.
In Goma, Under-Secretary-General Lacroix exchanged views with the Governor of North Kivu, Julien Paluku, on how MONUSCO can best help to address ongoing security challenges and inter-communal tensions in the province. He also interacted with the local authorities and representatives of civil society of Beni to discuss how to build on the relative improvements in security, following last year's tragic massacres.
The Under-Secretary General reaffirmed the UN's determination to help the DRC achieve lasting stability by ensuring that MONUSCO delivers on its core mandated objectives of supporting the political process and protecting civilians, as efficiently as possible.
He stressed the importance of the strategic review, requested by the UN Security Council, as an opportunity to ensure that the Mission evolves in response to the changing needs on the ground.