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Democratic Republic Of Congo

Volume 403: debated on Monday 14 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions his Department has had with (a) the US Administration and (b) the French Government on the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo; what information he has received on the reported massacre in the Ituri region of the country; what steps he plans to take to support the peace process; and if he will make a statement. [108702]

My Department has regular discussions with their US and French counterparts on the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in order to co-ordinate our efforts to promote peace and stability in the Great Lakes region.We were shocked to learn of the appalling massacre of civilians by militia in the DRC's Ituri Province last week. My noble Friend the Baroness Amos, issued a statement on 7 April strongly condemning this tragedy and has placed a copy in the Library of the House.These killings, as with earlier militia attacks, underline the need to stop this senseless cycle of violence in the region. We call on all parties to stop fighting and join the political process, particularly now that a Transitional Government has just been agreed for the DRC covering the whole country.The UK will play its part in supporting the peace process both as an active member of the UN Security Council and the EU, and as a member of the International Support Committee which is tasked with supporting the transitional process in DRC.