A ministerial meeting to discuss the possibility of a quick deployment of the Neutral International Force (NIF) in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) will be held on January 8, 2013 in Addis Ababa under the auspices of the African Union (AU).
This decision was made at the December 28-29 advisory meeting of the pan-African organization on the security arrangements to put in place in the DRC, the Maghreb Arab Press (MAP) reported.
Participants in the meeting adopted a series of recommendations, dealing particularly with the best ways to speed up the deployment of the Neutral International Force and strengthen the Extended Joint Verification Mechanism (JVM) launched by the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), the AU said in a statement published on Sunday in Addis Ababa.
According to the same source, participants also decided that the Neutral International Force (NIF) could be deployed either as a distinct or a force integrated into the UN Stabilization Mission in the DR Congo (MONUSCO), while preserving its identity and capacity to fulfill its mandate.
As for the Joint Verification Mechanism, the meeting agreed that it could be maintained in its current form, as it is poised to receive additional financial and logistical resources, or turned into a special mechanism of the AU, the same source added.
In addition, participants insisted on the necessity to adapt the Concept of Operations (CONOPS) to take into account the recent developments on the ground.
According the AU statement, the January 8 meeting, which will gather together all stakeholders, will be held in the light of the ongoing discussions between the UN and the countries of the region on the pending issues.
Participants will also review all the possible options before making a final decision on the way forward.
Source African Press Agency
African News from NetNewsPublisher.com