UN asks Mkapa to pursue peace in Great Lakes region

Dar es Salaam- Tanzania (PANA) -- The UN Security Council has asked Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa to play a more pivotal role in the quest for peace in the war ravaged Great Lakes region.
A formal message had been handed to the president when a 12- man team from the council visited the country at the end of May, Mkapa's press secretary, Maura Mwingira, disclosed Thursday.
In a press release explaining the purpose of Mkapa's recent visits to Kenya and Uganda, she said the team asked Mkapa to carry on his efforts in the search for peace in Burundi and the DR Congo.
Tanzania is currently the venue for talks aimed at restoring peace in Burundi besides providing sanctuary to thousands of refugees who have fled fighting between Hutus and Tutsis in the Central African state.
Mwingira noted that key rebel groups in the Burundi conflict have failed to agree on a cease-fire and have also failed to reach a consensus among themselves on who should lead the country during a three-year transition to democracy.
"President Mkapa promised he would continue collaborating with his counterparts in the Great Lakes in ensuring that the Arusha and Lusaka Agreements, respectively on Burundi and Congo, implemented to provide citizens in the two countries a chance to elect their leaders democratically," Mwingira said.
Mkapa, also vice chairman of the Great Lakes peace initiative proceeds to Rwanda Friday to carry on his peace agenda.
He would hold talks with President Paul Kagame during the one-day visit focusing on the Great Lakes, the press release added.
Rwanda and Uganda have their forces in the DRC backing rebels fighting government forces backed by troops from Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia.

07 june 2001 23:17:00




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