KINSHASA, March 9 (Xinhua) -- A delegation of the UN Security Council arrived in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on Thursday to embark on a working visit until Sunday to assess the security situation on the ground and the mandate of its peacekeeping force.
In a statement to the press at the N'Djili International Airport, Nicolas de Riviere, ambassador of France to the UN, stressed that the Security Council came to the DRC to express a clear message of support for the Congolese people following the humanitarian and security disasters raging in the eastern part of the country.
"All armed groups must cease their activities to participate in the (peace) processes (...) Foreign armed groups and those supported by foreign countries should withdraw," he said.
For four days, members of the Security Council will meet with political actors, representatives of civil society and the diplomatic community, including DRC's President Felix Tshisekedi.
The delegation will also head to Goma, capital of the eastern North Kivu province, where fighting has intensified for months between the army and several armed groups.
This visit takes place at a time when the security situation remains fragile, with violent fighting between the Congolese army and the rebels of the March 23 Movement (M23) taking place a few kilometers from Goma.
In recent months, the M23 rebels have taken control of several towns in Rutshuru and Masisi, located in the province of North Kivu. ■