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Democratic Republic of Congo

Volume 455: debated on Wednesday 24 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports she has received on a pact between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Laurent Nkunda. (110783)

Negotiations are ongoing between the government and army of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Laurent Nkunda to try and resolve the political and security crisis in North Kivu province. Several points must be addressed before any deal can be considered final. Broad agreement has been reached that troops currently serving under Nkunda will come under the Congolese armed forces (FARDC) central command in the future. We are urging the Congolese Government to resolve this in a way that avoids causing further suffering to the population of north Kivu.

We continually press the Congolese authorities to accelerate the process of reforming the security sector and to ensure that FARDC troops and militias are prevented from continuing to abuse civilians in a climate of impunity.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment her Department has made of the political situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo. (117378)

Following last year’s historic elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the political landscape is still taking shape. Although a President, Prime Minister and Parliament are in place, negotiations are continuing on the size and make-up of the new Government.

Once all institutions are in place the government needs to focus on security, poverty reduction, good governance, security sector reform and human rights. President Kabila promised action on all these fronts in his inauguration speech on 6 December 2006.

The UK will be in the DRC for the long haul supporting the DRC in consolidating its new peace and rebuilding the country. We have underlined the need for political and legal space for opposition parties, and that the government must be responsible, transparent and respect human rights.