U.N. Maintains Arms Embargo in Eastern DRC

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RAPAPORT…  The Security Council extended its arms embargo and other sanctions against militias operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) until the end of March, underlining that it remains deeply concerned about the presence of unauthorized armed groups, especially in the east of the vast and impoverished country.

The 15-member Council expressed serious concern about the situation in the provinces of North and South Kivu and in the Ituri district, close to the border with Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.

The presence of so many active armed groups there “perpetuates a climate of insecurity in the whole region,” the resolution said, referring to the Great Lakes region of Central Africa.

The embargo was first imposed in 2003 amid concerns that the growth and trafficking of arms was serving to fuel and exacerbate conflicts across the Great Lakes region. The Council also noted the link between the illegal exploitation and trade of natural resources in the DRC and the proliferation of arms.

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