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UN official says only a political solution can end the war in eastern DRC

media Hervé Ladsous Monusco

The under secretary General of the United Nations for Peacekeeping Operations, Herve Ladsous, says only a political solution will end the war in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Herve Ladsous, who has been touring the region in preparation for a UN summit on 27th September, says military action will not solve the conflit between government troops and M23 fighters for rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda.

The New York summit to be hosted by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon will discuss  the volatile humanitarian situation in eastern DRC as well as other issues in the Great Lakes region.

Last week, the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region in Kampala last week agreed to set up a neutral force in an effort to resolve the conflict in Kivu.

Uganda and Rwanda will not contribute troops to the force after the leaders from Uganda, Tanzania, the DRC and South Sudan agreed that countries that have perceived or direct interest in the conflict should be excluded from the force.

Ladsous told the media in Kampala that the UN is ready to support the work of the leaders of the Great Lakes region.

“Every effort must be made to convince all the actors, especially M23, that pushing on military objectives is no solution; the solution has to be also political. The fact that the sovereignty of Congo has been repeatedly violated by a number of parties is not acceptable” he said.

“We are fully supportive of the spirit of the intent that this proposal demonstrate. I think it is very positive that the countries of the region want to create an international neutral force,” he added.

He said the objective has to be a cessation of military action in Kivu.

“The main responsibility is indeed with those groups M23, and all others who wage war in Congolese territory with an agenda of their own and cause terrible damage to end the fighting” he cautioned.

The ICGLR under the chairmanship of Uganda is taking a leadership role in finding a lasting solution to end the hostilities.

Ladsous held a meeting on the issue with Uganda’s President, Yoweri Museveni. He also had talks with the ministers of defence and foreign affairs.

He was accompanied by a team of officials including the Special Representative for the Secretary General and Roger Meece, the head of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, also known as Monusco.

Ladsous hailed Monusco for protecting civilians in the volatile region.

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