UN chief urges M23 compliance with latest ceasefire in eastern DR Congo-Xinhua

UN chief urges M23 compliance with latest ceasefire in eastern DR Congo

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2023-03-07 06:07:15

UNITED NATIONS, March 6 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged the M23 rebel group to respect the latest ceasefire in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a UN spokesman said on Monday.

Stephane Dujarric, the chief spokesman for Guterres, said the secretary-general urged the M23 to respect the ceasefire beginning on Tuesday to create conditions for its complete and effective withdrawal from all occupied areas in the eastern DRC in line with decisions of the Luanda Mini-Summit held on Nov. 23.

Dujarric said Guterres welcomed the recent engagement by the president of Angola and African Union Champion for Peace and Reconciliation, Joao Lourenco, with the M23, which resulted in the ceasefire in compliance with an African Union Peace and Security Council decision.

"The Secretary-General condemns all violence against civilians and renews his call on all Congolese and foreign armed groups to lay down their weapons and disarm unconditionally," Dujarric said. "He urges all parties to the conflict to ensure immediate and unfettered humanitarian access to the affected population, and to ensure protection of civilians and respect for international humanitarian law."

The spokesman also said Guterres called for an end to hate speech and incitement to violence and reaffirms the continued support of the United Nations.

Dujarric added that over the weekend, Bintou Keita, the head of the UN mission in the DRC, known as MONUSCO, completed her visit to the eastern DRC. In Goma, she outlined that the mission is maintaining a robust presence in M23-controlled areas to protect civilians and continues to provide support to the Congolese armed forces.

Keita echoed calls for rigorous respect of the ceasefire and urged the M23 to withdraw from the occupied areas and disarm unconditionally.