Security situation progresses in DRC but humanitarian situation remains dire: UN chief

09:44, May 19, 2011      

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Security improved in most parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) but threats continue and the humanitarian situation remains serious, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said here on Wednesday.

"Foreign and Congolese armed groups continue to pose significant threats," Ban said addressing a Security Council meeting on the situation in the DRC and noted that 1.7 million people are currently displaced.

"Human rights violations, including murders, sexual violence, and the looting and burning of villages, continue to have large- scale humanitarian consequences," Ban said.

In his speech, the secretary-general mentioned the presidential and National Assembly elections in the DRC which are scheduled for Nov. 28, followed by provincial and local elections.

The elections are "critical to ensure the country's continued progress," Ban said, calling for transparency, timeliness, peace and security during these elections.

During the election procedure the UN Mission in the DRC ( MONUSCO) will provide logistical and technical support, as well as necessary equipment to Congolese police units that are being trained on electoral security by MONUSCO, France and the government, according to the UN chief.

Ban also stressed the importance of strong national institutions for long-term peace, stability and development.

Although the UN chief welcomed the DRC government's increased leadership in addressing sexual violence, he said he remains " deeply troubled" by ongoing reports of widespread sexual violence across the country and urged Congolese authorities to do more to put an end to such crimes.

The MONUSCO is one of the UN's largest peacekeeping mission with more than 19,000 uniformed personnel on the ground throughout the country.

Source: Xinhua
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