The UN has warned of negative forces in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo fomenting violence despite progress made in Africa’s Great Lakes region in the last 20 years towards establishing peace.
The UN’s outgoing special envoy for the Great Lakes, Said Djinnit, on Tuesday warned the UN Security Council that these negative forces were perpetuating insecurity and mistrust and some armed groups were being supported by some countries in the region.
The negative effect on the region was exacerbated by their continuing illegal exploitation and trade of natural resources across the mineral-rich countryside of DRC, which has funded much of the militia violence, said the envoy.
Cooperation between neighbouring countries is being hampered by the reemergence of tensions between some of them.
Djinnit said ending the chronic instability and violence resulting from armed militia activity required the sustained attention of Security Council members and that greater regional cooperation would be necessary to neutralise the negative forces and transform natural resources into vehicles of shared prosperity.
The special envoy – whose more than four-year term of office ends this month – said there was a continued need to strengthen existing confidence-building mechanisms and opportunities for dialogue between the 13 countries of the region, to address existing differences and strengthen trust and cooperation between them.
– African News Agency