Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC): Joint UN heads' mission in south Kivu

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Jennifer Pagonis to whom quoted text may be attributed at today's press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

The joint UN heads' mission to the Great Lakes region is now in DRC's eastern region of south Kivu. High Commissioner António Guterres, James Morris of the World Food Programme, and Ann M. Veneman of UNICEF plan to meet Congolese refugees returning home by boat from Tanzania to the DRC port town of Baraka.

The three heads, who are on an unprecedented joint visit to the Great Lakes region, met President Joseph Kabila of the DRC in Kinshasa on Monday. They discussed ways in which their agencies and the international community can best help the people of the troubled country to make the transition to a stable peace and full democracy.

The High Commissioner has stressed the importance of finding regional solutions for the Great Lakes, saying that the problems of DRC could not be solved without addressing the problems in Rwanda and Burundi. Later today, the three heads are scheduled to travel on to Rwanda. They will also go to Burundi, the last stop on their joint mission.

At the end of the mission on Thursday afternoon, Mr. Guterres is scheduled to travel to Tanzania to assess UNHCR operations there and hold meetings with senior government officials.

Mr. Guterres arrives back in Geneva on Monday, March 6.