Office of the UN Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region of Africa

New York – UN Special Envoy voices concern over renewed fighting, proposes principles to guide immediate peace efforts in the eastern DRC Mary Robinson, the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region of Africa, has expressed her concern about the recent outbreak of fighting in locations near Goma, in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, while underscoring her strong support for all efforts underway at this time to bring peace and stability to the region. “The suffering and displacement of the people, especially women and children, in eastern DRC and beyond have gone on for too long and cannot be tolerated any further,” the Special Envoy said.

The Special Envoy issued her comments today in proposing a set of principles to guide immediate efforts to tackle the crisis in the region, while maintaining a focus on long-term solutions. The proposals are informed by her recently concluded first visit to the region as the United Nations Special Envoy for the Great Lakes. The Special Envoy urges the DRC and all other parties to implement their commitments under a recently adopted framework agreement with a focus on a peaceful solution to the crisis in the eastern DRC and the region. Any agreements reached between the parties should contribute to breaking the cycle of violence and impunity for human rights abuses, she says. The Special Envoy also calls for actions to accelerate the voluntary return of refuges and to re-launch of programs to demobilize foreign and Congolese armed groups. She pledges to work with governments, donors and civil society to pursue a peace that creates dividends for the peoples of the region.

The Special Envoy joins UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and World Bank Group President Dr. Jim Yong Kim on their upcoming joint visit to the DRC, Rwanda and Uganda from 22-24 May.

The proposed principles to guide peace efforts for the eastern DRC are attached to this message. They can also be found in English and French on the website of the UN Department of Political Affairs: