STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Kerry tackles Congo and Syria conflicts

Published: 25th July 2013 11:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th July 2013 11:56 AM   |  A+A-

Kerry_AP
By AP

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry tackles two of the world's most intractable conflicts at the U.N. Thursday — eastern Congo's nearly two decades of fighting and Syria's 2 1/2-years of escalating violence.

America's chief diplomat will preside at a U.N. Security Council meeting assessing progress in implementing a Feb. 24 peace accord signed by 11 African nations to end years of fighting in eastern Congo. Later, he will meet with leaders of the Western-backed Syrian National Coalition to promote an international conference and a political solution to the conflict that has claimed at least 93,000 lives since 2011.

State Department spokesman Jen Psaki said Wednesday the U.S. believes the Congo agreement presents the region and the international community "with the unique opportunity to address the security, economic and ... governance issues underlying the chronic instability and conflict in the region."

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is scheduled to address Thursday's council meeting along with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, U.N. special envoy for Africa's Great Lakes region Mary Robinson, the foreign ministers of Congo and Uganda, and African Union Commissioner Lamamra Ramtane.

Rwanda, which is serving a two-year term on the Security Council, is also sending its foreign minister who will also speak along with the 14 other council members.

The signatories of the peace deal include Rwanda and Uganda, which were accused in a U.N. report last year of helping aid the M23 rebel group which swept through eastern Congo in 2012 and captured the key city of Goma in November but pulled out under international pressure.

A report last month by U.N. experts monitoring sanctions against Congo said Rwandan support for the M23 movement had waned but not ended in the past six months. A subsequent report by Human Rights Watch said the rebel group still received training and supplies and was able to recruit in Rwanda.

Both Rwanda and Uganda deny aiding the M23, which began in April 2012 when hundreds of troops defected from the Congolese armed forces.

The United States wants the Security Council to adopt a presidential statement on the Congo peace effort but diplomats said Rwanda objected to some of the proposed language related to the M23. A tentative agreement on the text was reached Wednesday and council members sent it to capitals for approval with a deadline of Thursday morning, the diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity because negotiations were private.

The council has authorized a intervention brigade for Congo with an unprecedented mandate to attack rebel groups, alone or with Congolese army troops, to neutralize and disarm armed groups.

In the late afternoon, Kerry is scheduled to meet with the elected leader of the Syrian National Coalition, Ahmed al-Jarba, and his delegation who flew to New  York from Paris where they held talks with President Francois Hollande.

France pushed for humanitarian corridors in Syria during the meeting and Hollande also discussed the delegation's demand to deliver weapons to its combatants.

Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman, said Kerry's meeting with the delegation provides an opportunity to "discuss with them not only the situation on the ground, but the path forward towards a political solution." She said they will also discuss ways to bolster U.S. assistance to local communities in Syria.

The National Coalition delegation, which also includes Michel Kilo and Burhan Ghalioun, is expected to meet a number of U.N. ambassadors later Thursday at a session hosted by Germany. On Friday, the opposition group will meet informally with the Security Council.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp