UN Security Council welcomes diplomacy, voices concern over violence in Great Lakes region

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UNITED NATIONS, April 28 (Xinhua) -- The UN Security Council on Thursday welcomed the intensification of regional diplomacy in the Great Lakes region, and voiced concern over violence by armed groups.

In a press statement, the council members welcomed the intensification of diplomacy and efforts to improve and strengthen bilateral and multilateral relations and cooperation.

They reiterated their deep concern regarding the humanitarian crisis in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), exacerbated by widespread insecurity and the destabilizing activities of armed groups.

They condemned all armed groups operating in the DRC and in the region and urged them to immediately lay down their arms. They expressed further concern over reported links between the Allied Democratic Forces rebel group and terrorist networks in eastern DRC, which may further exacerbate conflicts and contribute to undermining state authority.

The council members welcomed regional efforts to address the threat posed by all armed groups operating in eastern DRC. They stressed that there is no purely military solution to these problems and that the elimination of the threat posed by armed groups will require an integrated and regional approach and strong political engagement.

They underlined the importance of sustainable economic development as a driver for regional peace, including through economic cooperation and integration, and support to national initiatives which further improve good governance, anti-corruption, transparency and the economic level-playing field.

They underscored the role of illicit exploitation of and trade in natural resources as a driver of conflict in the Great Lakes region. They also underlined the importance of rule of law and regional judicial cooperation and called on all countries in the region to comply with their obligations under international law, to ensure accountability for violations, and to effectively support measures of conflict prevention by ending a culture of impunity.

They encouraged all countries in the region to further build capacities and strengthen the role of women and youth in mediation, peacebuilding and conflict prevention.

The council members called on the international community to continue supporting regional countries and organizations in their efforts to advance toward peace, security and development.

The press statement was released after the Security Council heard a briefing on the situation in the Great Lakes region on Wednesday. Enditem

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