24 August 2006

Secretary-General Urges Dialogue to Ease Tensions in Congolese Capital

NEW YORK, 23 August (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General notes with deep concern the incidents of violence, which have taken place in Kinshasa between armed elements over the past days.  He calls on the relevant parties to ensure an immediate end to the fighting and the withdrawal of all forces from the streets of Kinshasa.

He underlines the responsibility of President Joseph Kabila and Vice-President Jean-Pierre Bemba to resolve the situation through dialogue and peaceful means, and urges them to meet as quickly as possible to ease tensions.

The Secretary-General calls on the Congolese parties to exercise the utmost restraint and to continue to demonstrate the calm and sense of responsibility that they have shown in this historic electoral process, as the country prepares for the second round of the presidential elections.  He, again, urges all parties and candidates to abide by the electoral law in the resolution of any disputes, and to respect the process and the timetable for holding the runoff presidential elections, as announced by the Independent Electoral Commission.

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