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Ambassador Jerry Matjila raises concern over armed groups, Ebola in DRC

Jerry Matjila addressed the UN Security Council following an update by the special UN initiative in that country Monusco.

FILE: The ambassador said President Felix Tshisekedi's compliance with the peace security cooperation framework agreed in July was commendable as well as the increased representation of women in government from 10% to 17%. Picture: SABCDigitalNews/YouTube

JOHANNESBURG - As the United Nations (UN) readies itself to review the deployment of its peacekeeping force in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), South Africa's permanent representative ambassador Jerry Matjila said he was encouraged by the improving political climate but he remained concerned by armed groups in the east as well as the Ebola pandemic.

Matjila addressed the UN Security Council following an update by the special UN initiative in that country Monusco on Friday.

He welcomed the launch of the African Union (AU) mission against Ebola, which he said illustrated the willingness of African countries to work together in addressing this health concern but made the case for continued global support.

The ambassador said President Felix Tshisekedi's compliance with the peace security cooperation framework agreed in July was commendable as well as the increased representation of women in government from 10% to 17%.

He commended the UN's Peacekeeping Force and Force Intervention Brigade.

However, he said the DRC remained vulnerable to armed groups in the east that continued to wage war and refuse to be part of the Tshisekedi government or the peace process.

On the Ebola pandemic, he said regional and international response efforts continued to be hampered by insufficient funding and poor accessibility to conflict areas and he condemned the attacks by armed groups on Ebola treatment centres and staff.

Matjila said South Africa believed the DRC still needed support through Southern African Development Community, the AU, the UN and regional partners to ensure there was no reversal of the gains made thus far.