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UN support needed to deal with armed groups in DR Congo, Kabila tells General Assembly

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UN News - September 27, 2007

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is determined to stabilize the country's troubled North Kivu region, its President said today, seeking United Nations support in this effort. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is determined to stabilize the country's troubled North Kivu region, its President said today, seeking United Nations support in this effort.

Addressing the annual high-level debate of the General Assembly, Joseph Kabila said: "We must, by all means, with determination and a heightened sense of urgency, resolve the remaining problems of insecurity in North Kivu."

He said the Congolese people there continued to face all manner of violence by armed groups - national and foreign - and many had been forced to flee their homes.

Calling for a re-establishment of security in the area, he said, "as for the armed groups, the support of the United Nations is necessary for their voluntary disarmament, or if need be, forced," as well as their repatriation.

Since December 2006, North Kivu - which lies in the far east of the vast country - has been ravaged by violent clashes leading to the displacement of more than 224,000 people, the UN estimates.

The UN peacekeeping mission in the country (MONUC) has urged an end to clashes among armed factions in North Kivu and is working to promote stability in the area.

MONUC has overseen the DRC's transition from a six-year civil war that cost 4 million lives in fighting and attendant hunger and disease, widely considered the most lethal conflict in the world since World War II, to gradual stabilization, culminating in the first democratic elections in over four decades being held last year.


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