Kinshasa calls on Swiss to back peace efforts

Defence Minister Samuel Schmid has held talks in the Democratic Republic of Congo focusing on disarmament and peacekeeping efforts in the African country.

This content was published on May 2, 2008

Switzerland contributes SFr10 million ($9.5 million) annually to United Nations peacekeeping forces in the region and has dispatched three military officers to the capital, Kinshasa.

The Congolese defence minister, Chikez Diemu, called on Switzerland to support a reform of the armed forces and programmes for the re-integration of soldiers into society, according to Swiss officials.

On Friday Schmid also met the UN special envoy to Kinshasa, Alan Doss, who is in charge of the peacekeeping mission in Congo.

During his three-trip, Schmid visited a radio station which is co-funded by Switzerland, before he was due to travel to a refugee camp in the eastern Goma region and discuss Swiss aid to the country.

The former Zaire has been in the grip of a humanitarian crisis following a five-year civil war between government forces and rebels, which ended in a peace accord in 2003.

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