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Lake boundaries, tensions in eastern DR Congo, among topics discussed in Bans meeting with Tanzania President

2 October 2012 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met today with the President of Tanzania, Jakaya Kikwete, for a wide-ranging discussion on issues of regional importance.

The African country’s constitutional review process and efforts underway by Malawi and Tanzania to find a solution on the delineation of Lake Nyasa – one of the largest lakes in Africa and located between Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania – were among the topics discussed by the two men, according to Mr. Ban’s spokesperson.

They also discussed the leadership role of Tanzania as current chair of the Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) Organ for Politics, Defence and Security, in particular with regard to Madagascar and Zimbabwe.

In addition, Mr. Ban expressed his appreciation for the efforts of President Kikwete to diffuse tensions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), noting Tanzania’s offer to contribute troops to an international neutral force.

The eastern DRC – particularly its provinces of North Kivu and South Kivu – has been plagued by violence in recent months, primarily by a group called the M23, made up of renegade soldiers from the country’s national army.

The M23 has clashed with national army troops, which have been supported by peacekeepers from the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), and has caused massive displacement of local residents, in addition to raising concerns about the region’s stability. Over 260,000 people have fled the violence since the M23 mutiny began, and an additional 60,000 have fled over the borders into Rwanda and Uganda.

Also on Tuesday, the Secretary-General met with Belarus’ Foreign Affairs Minister, Vladimir Makei.

They exchanged views on UN-Belarus cooperation and on the importance of continued international efforts toward sustainable development and energy issues, in addition to discussing Belarus’ relations with international partners.

The two men also exchanged views on east European’s human rights challenges, and Mr. Ban commended Belarus for its efforts to combat human trafficking.

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