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Belgium is very concerned by the new upsurge in violence in North Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This violence adds to an already very challenging situation for the civilian populations in the east of the country, as a result of abuses of numerous armed groups. “This violence must stop” declared Minister for Foreign Affairs. Belgium also condemns attacks against MONUSCO.
This violence is a cause of enormous suffering for the population. Eastern DRC has more than 5.5 million displaced people, including 2.5 million in North Kivu alone. Many human rights violations are also committed. Belgium remains a committed partner for humanitarian assistance to the Congolese population.
Armed groups must put an end to this violence. Rwanda must stop all support for the M23. The Congolese authorities have made important announcements concerning the collaboration of the Congolese armed forces with the armed group FDLR. It is essential that collaboration with armed groups ceases on the ground. Hate messages and calls for violence must end. But the solution will also be found through the reform of the security sector. We will continue to support the DRC in this work.
“The solution to any conflict, whatever it may be, is never military” recalled the Minister. Diplomatic efforts, within the framework of regional processes, must be relaunched, and the actors must engage constructively with the efforts of the United States. “Finally, we have to address the root causes of the conflict. This is how the population will be able to flourish and prosper”.
Belgium will continue to work in this direction, during its European Presidency and after, so that the populations of the eastern DRC and the Great Lakes Region can live in peace and security.
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