Congolese leader resolved to find "peace at any cost" in eastern DRC

APA - Kinshasa (RD Congo) President Joseph Kabila reasserted Thursday in Goma, his determination to "find peace" at "any cost" in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where he arrived Tuesday for his second stay to North Kivu, in less than one week.

The Congolese head of state, who was speaking during a press conference after his visit, recalled that the peace accords which were signed on January 23 this year, remained the only framework for dialogue towards peace.

Believing that all the signatories "must respect word for word these agreements," Kabila urged the dissident General Laurent Nkunda's National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) to "return to the process" because, he said, "there is no other way "to restore peace in the country's eastern province.

After intensive consultations on the ground for the return of peace, the Congolese President felt that there was no more reason to continue to "make people suffer."

The government and international facilitation approved Wednesday during these consultations, a UN Mission in DRC (MONUC)-backed plan.

The plan includes two stages concerning the consolidation of the ceasefire and disengagement of forces expected to withdraw in a bid to restore the authority of the state.

The document stipulates that the forces and armed groups involved in the conflict should step back and leave a demilitarized zone, where MONUC and the police would be deployed to contribute to the restoration of the state before increasing troops in the centre.

The spokesperson of CNDP's political bureau, Bertrand Bisimwa, who spoke at the MONUC-sponsored Radio Okapi, said his movement was "currently studying" the draft plan of disengagement to make some amendments.

Rebel troops and government forces have been fighting in eastern DRC since August 28.

President Kabila returned to Kinshasa on Thursday night, while reliable sources in the east said it was calm in the day.

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