Tag: Harle

UN Security Council told that July election in DR Congo will not

Jean-Marc de la Sablière, France’s ambassador to the UN, also told an open meeting of the 15-member body how important it was for the campaigning that officially began last Friday to be peaceful and open to all in the polls, which will be the first in the vast country in 45 years and the largest and most complex electoral-assistance mission ever undertaken by the UN.“We have…agreed that conditions have been met for the elections which will crown the transition period in the DRC and the elections should be carried out satisfactorily in technical and other terms and in accordance with the announced timetable, that is the 30 July.”“Nevertheless during our mission we did warn our interlocutors about the concerns of the members of the Council given the deterioration in the political climate…These elections will not be an end in itself, which we stressed during our mission, and we stressed the importance of the period which is going to follow.”Because of the threat posed to these landmark polls by armed groups in the east of the country, the Council last Friday decided to extend until 30 September its authorization for a strengthened UN Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC), allowing for a further 300 personnel. Overall MONUC currently has around 17,500 uniformed personnel in the country.The six-year civil war in the DRC cost 4 million lives through fighting and attendant hunger and disease, and was widely considered the most lethal conflict in the world since World War II. In his most recent report on the DRC last month, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said security still remains tenuous in several parts of the country, notably in the east.In polls costing hundreds of millions of dollars, the Congolese electorate – which numbers 25.5 million voters – will be called upon to cast their vote in some 50,000 polling stations for some 33 presidential, over 9,000 national legislative and over 10,000 provincial assembly candidates. read more