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UN chief to visit DR Congo
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09:34, February 23, 2009

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UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will pay a cordial visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo next week in a move to encourage the central African country's peace process, according to the UN peace mission chief.

 Alan Doss, head of the UN mission in DR Congo (MONUC) announced the visit on Saturday in eastern city of Goma, where he met with Congolese Cooperation Minister Raymond Tshibanda.

Tshibanda is in Goma, the provincial capital of North Kivu Province, for talks on the military and political reintegration of the former Tutsi rebel group, the National Congress in Defense of the People (CNDP).

The MONUC chief said Ban will meet both Congolese and Rwandan leaders during his five-nation African trip, which will also take him to South Africa, Tanzania, Rwanda and Egypt.

During his stay in DR Congo, Ban is scheduled to visit the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, South Kivu Province, to see victims of rape in the conflicts. He also plans to meet with MONUC members and local officials in Goma.

The schedule, among others, includes an inspection at the Mugunga camp, 15 km west of Goma, where the UN chief will show his solidarity with the displaced persons before going on with his African trip to neighboring Rwanda.

DR Congo and Rwanda launched a joint military operation against insurgency in North Kivu on Jan. 20, knocking out the major threat to the Congolese government and the Great Lakes region as a whole.

The Congolese army and MONUC will continue their pursuit of rebel remnants after Rwandan troops return home at the end of this month, officials said.


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