DRC Official Begs UN for Help

150 150 Rapaport News

(Rapaport…October 25, 2002) The Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) foreign minister, Leonard She Okitundu, yesterday pleaded with the United Nations (UN) Security Council to end what he called a terrible “plundering” of his country’s natural resources, including diamonds.

Okitundu made his comments in response to a new UN report that detailed the ongoing conflict diamond trade in the Congo, blaming soldiers, businessmen and politicians for exploiting the war-torn nation’s minerals. The foreign minister said the council should not equate the DRC and its ally Zimbabwe with neighboring Rwanda and Uganda, which he blamed for attacking the Congo.

According to the UN report, the DRC has been carved into three spheres of influence in which lawlessness runs amok. One is said to be controlled by the Congolese government, one by Uganda and one by Rwanda, despite those nations’ ongoing military withdrawals. Okitundu said the UN should speed up the deployment of peacekeepers to protect the DRC’s resources and accelerate the foreign troop pullouts. Members said in response that they needed more time to study the report.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.