Senior UN official assesses stabilization plan in eastern DR Congo

23 July 2008A top UN official in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ross Mountain, is visiting North Kivu province with the Congolese Minister of Planning, Olivier Kamitatu, to assess the implementation of the security and stabilization plan for eastern DRC. Mr. Mountain, who is the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Humanitarian Coordinator for the DRC, and Mr. Kamitatu will be meeting the local authorities and representatives of UN agencies to discuss the Amani Programme, the Support Strategy on Security and the Stabilization Plan for eastern DRC. The plan includes improvements to roads, police stations and other priority infrastructure projects.Mr. Mountain and Mr. Kamitatu are traveling today along one of the roads undergoing renovation, between Saké and Masisi which will provide employment to more than 1000 people living along it over the next three months. A similar rehabilitation project along the Rutshuru-Ishasha road is also due to start soon.Meanwhile, the UN Mission in DRC, MONUC, has reported several violations by armed groups of the ceasefire in Ituri province. On Monday, two local armed groups exchanged fire in the town of Tchey. No casualties were reported, and the battle ended with the intervention of UN peacekeepers. In South Kivu, UN peacekeepers intervened three times this week to put an end to gun battles between local Congolese groups.At its weekly news conference, MONUC called for all armed groups in eastern DRC to respect the Goma Acts of Engagement, agreed in January.MONUC said that there had been positive progress at the political level and on the ground, with a reduction in armed clashes between the signatories to the Goma Acts, and improved access for humanitarians to vulnerable people.However, the UN mission said progress remained very slow and the civilian population in both North and South Kivu continued to be subjected to serious human rights violations. This was creating a climate of fear, which was preventing the return of more than a million displaced people, MONUC said. read more

LTTE flag waved at match

Following the incident a tight security presence was seen near the stands where the Sri Lankan supporters were sitting. The Australian police seized an LTTE flag which was waved at the match between Australia and Sri Lanka in Sydney a short while ago.A man who was seen waving the flag during the Sri Lankan innings was also taken away by the police.