UN chief calls for protection of civilians in DR Congo conflict

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Residents of Rutshuru Territory flee their homes to seek safety in Goma. [UN Photo/Sylvain Liechti]

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday called for the protection of the civilian population in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Secretary-General made the appeal in the country's capital, Kinshasa where he met with President Joseph Kabila as fighting government forces and M23 rebel fighters entered its third day.

The Secretary-General stressed said the framework for peace, security and cooperation that President Kabila and 10 other African leaders signed in February offers the best hope for peace in a generation.

"We are deeply concerned about the recent recurrence of violence by the M23. I have urged Kabila to give appropriate instruction to the FARDC army to strictly abide by the international humanitarian law and protect the lives of civilian population. This is very important. While addressing all this security situation we have to provide safety and security to the civilian population." (30")

The Secretary-General said that women and girls in particular, must be free from sexual violence.

Secretary-General Ban is in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with the President of the World Bank, Dr. Jim Yong Kim on the first joint UN-World Bank visit of its kind.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1'15"

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