UN Security Council meets on African hot spots

08:33, May 20, 2010      

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The simmering tensions and continued instability in both the Horn of Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) were under the spotlight on Wednesday as the UN Security Council met to discuss peace and security on the continent.

Ambassador Gerard Araud of France, who led a recent Council mission to the DRC, briefed the meeting on the trip and the latest developments in the vast country, where the future of a United Nations peacekeeping mission is under review.

The mandate of the mission (MONUC), which began operations in 1999, is due to expire at the end of this month.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recommended in his latest report on the mission that its 20,000-strong force begin a drawdown of troops by June 30. The government has proposed a total withdrawal of the peacekeeping forces by Aug. 30, 2011.

Also on Wednesday, many speakers, including Djibouti's President Ismail Omar Guelleh, discussed the problems affecting countries in the Horn of Africa.

Somalia remains engulfed by one of the world's worst humanitarian crises, with millions of people either internally displaced or living as refugees in neighboring countries as Government forces fight Islamist rebels.

Tensions are also high in the ongoing border dispute between Djibouti and Eritrea.



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