Mike Gapes is pressing Ministers for urgent action from the international community to halt the violence, get through humanitarian aid and achieve a political solution to the conflict in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. On Tuesday in Parliament he pressed Foreign Office Minister Bill Rammell on the issue as follows.

Mike Gapes (Ilford, South) (Lab/Co-op): The Minister will be aware that the Democratic Republic of the Congo is a vast country with 60 million people, most of whom earn less than half a dollar a day. It is very poor, yet very wealthy in resources. Does he agree that this long-standing problem will not be solved in Kinshasa but through its neighbours and by addressing the conflict between the Tutsi and Hutu peoples of the area around the lakes? An intensive political effort, particularly involving Rwanda, is required to get the political solution that is called for.

Bill Rammell: I very much agree with my hon. Friend that the situation requires a political solution. I know that he has taken a strong interest in the issue. It requires a political process between Tutsis and Hutus, as well as political engagement between the DRC and Rwanda. There is also an important key role to be undertaken by the AU. In that regard, I was pleased by the announcement that the AU will send its own envoy, Ibrahima Fall, to contribute to the process.

posted 7 November 2008


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