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07.06.2012 Congo

Situation in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo

By US Department of State
Situation in Eastern Democratic Republic of the CongoSituation in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo
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WASHINGTON, June 7, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Press Statement

Mark C. Toner

Deputy Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson

Washington, DC

June 6, 2012

The United States is concerned by the continued mutiny of officers and soldiers formerly integrated into the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and now operating in North Kivu province as an armed group under the name M23, and by recent reports of outside support to M23.

We support the Congolese government's efforts to discourage further defections and to bring to justice alleged human rights abusers among the mutinous forces, including Bosco Ntaganda. These efforts are an essential step toward developing a disciplined and unified Congolese army and bringing a sustainable peace to the DRC.

The United States also reiterates its support for the international community's comprehensive approach to disarming and demobilizing the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a violent armed group responsible for atrocities against civilians in the DRC's eastern provinces and whose leaders participated in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. We support ongoing efforts to hold FDLR leaders accountable for their atrocities, and we urge FDLR soldiers and dependents to present themselves to Congolese or UN authorities for disarmament and repatriation.

We encourage the DRC, its neighbors, and its partners to work together to prevent M23, the FDLR, and all other armed groups from receiving outside support in contravention of the UN Security Council's arms embargo on non-governmental entities and individuals operating in the DRC.

The United States also strongly supports the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the DRC, MONUSCO, in particular its active efforts to assist the Congolese government in protecting civilians displaced or threatened by clashes between government forces and armed groups.

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