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UN chief voices concern over resumption of hostilities in eastern DRC

North Kivu is the area of increased conflict

New York, US | Xinhua |  UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed concern over the resumption of hostilities since Oct. 20 between the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the March 23 Movement (M23), said his spokesman on Sunday.

Noting that the conflict has resulted in civilian casualties, massive displacement and the injury of 4 UN peacekeepers, the secretary-general called for immediate de-escalation of the situation, said Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman, in a statement.

Guterres urged the M23 and other armed groups to immediately cease hostilities and to disarm unconditionally, Dujarric said, adding that he also called on all parties to facilitate humanitarian access to the affected population and to ensure the protection of civilians.

The UN chief also reiterated the full support of the United Nations for the ongoing mediation by Angolan President Joao Lourenco and for the Nairobi Process, an initiative that focuses on human rights in Africa, under the facilitation of former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Guterres reaffirmed that the United Nations will continue to support the Congolese government and people in their efforts to bring about peace and stability in the east of the country, said the spokesman. ■

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