UNITED NATIONS, April 24 — UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday welcomed the efforts of Eastern African leaders to promote peace, stability, and development in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the greater East African region.
The UN chief commended the regional leaders, including Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, for their determination to work toward these objectives, according to a statement by his associate spokesperson Eri Kaneko.
Guterres emphasized the need for “effective coordination” between the regional force and the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC to protect civilians.
He urged all local armed groups in the DRC to “participate unconditionally” in the political process and all foreign armed groups to “disarm and return unconditionally and immediately” to their respective countries of origin.
Stressing the importance of addressing “the root causes of the conflict,” including non-military measures, the UN chief called for a continued, frank, and open dialogue among all stakeholders to resolve tensions and strengthen trust and confidence.
He reaffirmed that the United Nations would continue to support the region’s countries in longer-term peacebuilding efforts “aimed at achieving accountability and consolidating peace and security gains,” the statement said. (Xinhua)