The flare-up in fighting along the border areas between Rwanda
and the Democratic Republic of the Congo may provoke a wider conflict in the
region, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Friday.
The continued fighting between Congo's armed forces and Rwanda's local group known as CNDP (the National Congress for Popular Defence) under Laurent Nkunda is inflicting added suffering on the civilians in Congo, he said, according to dpa.
Ban urged Congo and CNDP to reach an immediate ceasefire and cooperate with the UN Mission in the Congo for a separation of forces. The UN mission has worked out steps for the disengagement of the two sides in the conflict. The mission will also act within its mandate to protect civilian populations threatened by armed groups and prevent any encroachment on main population centers and major transportation arteries.
"The secretary general calls on all states in the region to prevent their territories and nationals from being used to aid armed groups in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)," said UN spokewoman Marie Okabe.
"He urges the governments of the DRC and Rwanda to bridge their differences using diplomatic and other means available to them," she said, citing previous arrangements to end the fighting.