The 15-member group visited Kiwanja IDP camp near Goma, in North Kivu province, temporary home to some 13,000 people fleeing conflicts in the area, Marie Okabe told reporters in New York.Earlier, on arrival in Goma from the Rwandan capital, Kigali, the delegation was briefed by the military leadership of the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC, known as MONUC, about the current UN-backed operations by the Congolese army to address the problem of foreign and local illegal armed groups.They also met with the governor of North Kivu, the humanitarian community and with senior Congolese military and police commanders, and visited a clinic caring for victims of sexual violence.Tomorrow, the delegation will be in Kinshasa for senior-level meetings with Government officials, including President Joseph Kabila, and will also examine the promotion of economic recovery and development in the DRC, Ms. Okabe said. It will then head to Liberia.Council members arrived in DRC from neighbouring Rwanda, where they met yesterday with President Paul Kagame to discuss Rwanda’s contribution to peace in the eastern DRC and the Great Lakes region and its role in UN peacekeeping.The delegation began their African trip on Saturday with a stop in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, where it met with African Union officials. Both parties expressed their commitment to enhancing collaboration in areas including the promotion of human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Africa, according to a communiqué released after the meeting.The Council team also met with Prime Minister Meles Zenawi to discuss the situation in Somalia and the stalemate in the Ethiopia/Eritrea peace process. 18 May 2009A Security Council delegation on a week-long visit to Africa met with internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) today to assess efforts by the Government and the United Nations to consolidate peace and security in the area, a spokesperson for the world body said.
William Lacy Swing, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative to the DRC, told the press today in the capital, Kinshasa, that the UN remains vigilant but not overly anxious about the security situation ahead of Sunday’s presidential and parliamentary polls.Mr. Swing has observed repeatedly in the past that Ituri, the scene of deadly conflict for several years, serves as both a barometer of the DRC’s stability and of its readiness to hold elections.The envoy told reporters that he welcomed the fact that militias in the east of the vast African country have not disrupted the preparations so far.Approximately 25.5 million voters are expected to cast ballots on Sunday at 50,000 polling stations in an election involving some 33 presidential, over 9,000 national legislative and more than 10,000 provincial assembly candidates. It is considered to be the most complex electoral-assistance mission ever undertaken by the UN.