Peace boat back in Kinshasa

Kinshasa- DR Congo (PANA) -- The 'boat of peace,' which left Kinshasa two months ago for rebel-controlled Mogalo, returned this weekend with 800 tonnes of maize supplied by the European Union and intended for the needy in the Congolese capital.
At a ceremony marking the boat's return, UNDP resident representative Bouri Sanhoudi hailed what he described as "the self-denial and courage of humanitarian actors" who braved the boat trip.
Luc Vansina of the Memisa/Belgium, an NGO that was involved in the peace trip, observed that the ordinary Congolese was tired of war, and lamented that "each passing day without peace is a lost day".
Also speaking at the function, EU Ambassador Henri Sprietsma expressed the hope that the journey would facilitate a resumption of traffic on the Congo River in both directions.
He dropped hint of EU plans to purchase and supply Kinshasa with 5 000 tonnes of maize next year.
The boat named "Boboto" (meaning 'peace' in Lingala), sailed in Saturday from Mogalo, 1,250 km from Kinshasa, where it had earlier taken 650 tonnes of food and medical supplies.
The trip was at the initiative of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, a branch of the UN Office in charge of emergency aid to victims of natural disasters and armed conflicts.

02 september 2001 19:38:00

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