The UN Special Envoy, former Irish President Mary Robinson, visited Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since Sunday September 1, 2013.
On Monday September 2, 2013, she was in Goma in Eastern DRC, where she was received by Julien Paluku Kahonghya, the Governor of North Kivu. She invited the M23 to stop violence and disarm.
“It is clear that the M23 has to stop violence and disarm, as the UN Security Council has asked.. Really, we are very concerned, very committed, and very determined to work with the DRC government, and with everyone, for lasting peace. We now must found a way. We have tried with a military approach, which has been successful to some extent. Now, a window for a political solution has been opened,” Ms Mary Robinson said.
During their meeting, the Governor of North Kivu, Julien Paluku, asked Mary Robinson to clarify what she meant by “political solution”. Mr. Julien Paluku asked the UN Special the following:
“In our opinion, within the framework of the Great Lakes Peace Agreements signed by 11 states, political dialogue means that the Heads of State of the Region should continue to strengthen the relationships among them in order to make sure that what happens in Eastern DRC does not expand to the entire region.
If this is not the political solution, the population would like to know what that political solution is. Does it mean negotiations between M23, the FDLR, and ADF-NALU respectively with the Congolese, Rwandan and Ugandan governments?
Otherwise, what is then the UN Intervention Brigade waiting for to neutralize the negative forces, as determined by the United Nations, the African Union, SADC and the ICGLR forces?
In the afternoon of Monday September 2, 2013, Ms. Robinson visited wounded FARDC soldiers treated at the Heal Africa hospital in the city.
“It was terrible what happened here in Goma. I’m glad that calm has returned, ” Mary Robinson told the media, before adding, “As special envoy, it is important that I come to Goma, and see for myself. I came for the population of Goma, women, and children. This is what is important.“.
On her trip, that will take her to Uganda and Rwanda, after the DRC, she is accompanied by the Special Representative of the African Union, Boubacar Diarra, the US Special Envoy to the Great Lakes region, Russ Feingold and the Principal Coordinator of the European Union for the Great Lakes Region, Koen Vervaeke.
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