UN envoy sees momentum for reforms in DRC

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UNITED NATIONS, March 30 (Xinhua) — The top UN envoy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Bintou Keita, said Tuesday that there is momentum for much-needed reforms in the country.

“Through my exchanges with President (Felix) Tshisekedi and the prime minister-designate, I can report that there is a momentum for change that can be built,” she told the Security Council in a briefing.

“There is an opening to push forward the necessary governance and institutional reforms, which will have a direct impact to support the peaceful resolution of the conflicts in the east. I have been encouraged by the president’s determination and willingness to mobilize all necessary resources to address the security and stabilization needs of the Congolese people in the east, as well as by the pragmatic, constructive and open engagement I enjoyed with the prime minister-designate, and all other senior Congolese officials,” she said.

She said she has stressed to the Congolese leadership that the new government must promptly act on a number of priority areas, including reforming the Congolese military and police forces; taking ownership for the effective protection of civilians, at the national and provincial levels; ensuring effective and sustainable, community-based disarmament, demobilization and reintegration; strengthening the civilian and military justice systems and support to transitional justice; beginning plans for the 2023 electoral cycle.

The electoral process of 2023 represents a new critical stage in the process of democratic transition, of consolidation institutional and stabilization of the country, she said. “I am underlining to all stakeholders the need to act within the constitutional framework and to organize the elections in a timely and inclusive manner, respecting the electoral calendar.”

Keita, who is the UN secretary-general’s special representative and head of the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC, said she was committed to working with partners to ensure the success of the new DRC government.

“At the same time, I have emphasized as well the need to overcome the deadlocks that have been holding back political progress and stabilization. In collaboration with partners, the government must address the immense and pressing security, humanitarian and development needs facing the country. In this, it must ensure that the actions needed to respond to these needs are not further delayed,” she said. Enditem

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