Democratic Republic of Congo

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 12th September 2013.

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Photo of Tom Blenkinsop Tom Blenkinsop Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with (a) his counterpart in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), (b) his Rwandan counterpart, (c) the UN Special Envoy to the Great Lakes and (d) the UN Special Representatives for the Democratic Republic of Congo, on the need for a renewed political dialogue between the government of the DRC and the M23 rebel group.

Photo of Mark Simmonds Mark Simmonds The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

During the outbreak of the recent fighting in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), I spoke to both the Special Representative of the Secretary General and the UN Special Envoy. I have also spoken to the Prime Minister of DRC and the Foreign Minister of Rwanda. I have encouraged restraint on all sides, and expressed my support for the work and leadership of the UN. I welcome the fact that talks between the DRC Government and the M23 are to restart. While these talks are unlikely in themselves to bring lasting peace to eastern DRC, they have a part to play in resolving the immediate conflict. This will allow the main focus to return to implementing the Peace, Security and Co-operation Framework for the Great Lakes—aimed at addressing the underlying causes of conflict in eastern DRC—with a dialogue between regional Governments to support it.

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