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DESPERATE TIMES: UN Ready to Mobilize International Community to Support Peace Process in the Great Lakes Region

The United Nations (UN) says it is ready to mobilize the international community to foster restoration of lasting peace amidst raging conflicts on the African continent, particularly in the Great Lakes region.

Intensified fighting between the Congolese army (FARDC) supported by local armed groups and M23 rebels in North Kivu of eastern DRC has triggered new waves of displacements in the region.

According to the UN, since the beginning of May, more than 80,000 people have found refuge in the territory of Kalehe, in the neighboring province of South Kivu.

Speaking to the press in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres noted that when the organization witnesses conflicts continuing without spring break, particularly in the Great Lakes (between the DRC and Rwanda), it is made to understand that something is fundamentally wrong in the current world order.

Guteress added that the continuation of the war makes the UN Charter, international law, international humanitarian law, human rights and basic human decency appear as though they do not matter anymore.

“The UN fully supports the work of the African Union to silence the guns. We are ready to cooperate and mobilize the international community to support peace from the Sahel to the Horn of Africa, including the Great Lakes and beyond,” Guterres said.

Meanwhile, Guterres At the same time, Antonio Guterres dismissed assertions that the UN pays little attention to African conflicts, compared to other conflicts around the world for instance Gaza as well as Russia-Ukraine wars.

“We have peacekeeping operations in Africa. We have virtually no peacekeeping operations, or rather very small peacekeeping operations outside of Africa. And we have had many, many UN members among these peacekeeping forces who have given their lives for peace in Africa. We have several political missions in Africa, we have regional offices in Africa which deal with conflicts, and we constantly mobilize the international community to be able to support the populations victims of these conflicts, and at the same time facilitate the capacity of these conflicts for their purposes,” he explained.

The UN chief concluded by appealing to all political leaders and the media to give today’s African conflicts the same level of priority as other conflicts as they pose the same type of threat to global peace and security, and cause an unprecedented volume of suffering in the international community.

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