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Democratic Republic of Congo: Armed Conflict

Volume 460: debated on Wednesday 23 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government are taking to assist in finding a solution to the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. (138238)

In the short term, we continue to urge the Congolese government to seek peaceful and negotiated solutions to the internal problems which provoke violence. We support the continuation of the UN peacekeeping force in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) (MONUC)'s mandate and encourage MONUC to take a robust stance against foreign and Congolese militia groups that threaten civilians.

We remain concerned by the ongoing violence in eastern DRC. We continue to press the Congolese Government to make security sector reform a priority, so a disciplined and well-trained national army is developed. This is the only long-term solution to prevent further conflict.

The DRC remains a priority for the UK. Our extensive bilateral assistance to the DRC, £75 million in the last financial year, is designed to work in support of conflict prevention, including work on security sector reform, democracy and accountability and provision of basic services to the population. I discussed this issue myself when I met William Swing, the UN Secretary-General's special representative for the DRC, on 2 March.