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UN chief "deeply concerned" at dire situation in DR Congo
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09:52, July 21, 2007

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United Nations Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon expressed deep concern on Friday at the worsening security situation in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, and urged all parties to take measures to resolve the crisis.

"The Secretary-General is deeply concerned at the deteriorating security situation in the South and North Kivu provinces in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo," Ban's spokeswoman, Michele Montas, said. "He is particularly troubled by the dire humanitarian consequences, which include the internal displacement of some 700,000 persons in the region."

Ban called on all key actors to undertake political measures to solve the crisis, including through the implementation of a comprehensive strategy aimed at ensuring the extension of state authority and the promotion of reconciliation, recovery and development in the provinces.

He also urged regional and international partners to support efforts to ease tensions in the area and to "fully cooperate in addressing the root causes of instability in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and in the broader region."

According to reports, nine people have been killed and about a hundred houses destroyed since last week in clashes between rival militia groups in eastern Congo, a mineral-rich region bordering Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.

Nearly 18,000 UN blue berets are stationed in Congo in the world body's largest peacekeeping operation.

Source: Xinhua

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