The United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Saturday began his African tour, aimed at bringing peace to the troubled Sudanese province of Darfur, by arriving to the Congolese capital, Kinshasa.
According to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the UN Secretary's tour, which would take him to Ethiopia and Kenya, would focus on promoting peace in the African continent.
As for choosing Congo as first stop, Ban stated that the African country would act as neutral ground to launch peace talks regarding Darfur, adding that Congo hosts the largest UN peacekeeping force in the world with about 17, 000 soldiers deployed.
The UN official also pointed out that Congo still needed international support to strengthen democracy, revealing that he would discuss this issue with senior officials, namely President Joseph Kabila.
During his visit to Addis Ababa, the UN official will attend the African Union's (AU) summit to be held next Monday and meet with Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir.
On his meeting with Al-Bashir, Ban pointed out that it was not scheduled on his tour agenda but stated that he would use seize the chance to express his deepest concern concerning the Darfur crisis.
He indicated that he would demand Al-Bashir reveal his intentions and stance vis a vis the idea of a UN-AU peacekeeping force, following initial reports that the Sudanese President approval of such a plan in principle.
"Before you buy that next piece of gold and diamond jewelry for your loved ones or for yourself, remember these images of the laborers and slaves who suffered to extract, cut, and polish that beautiful jewel from the jungle," writes Bill at Jewels in the Jungle - Diamonds are not a girl's best friend
Help save lives by supporting the rule of law and justice, transparency in the diamond and gold mining industries and trade, fair wages, and humane working conditions for the people shown in these photo essays.
It takes only weeks for a diamond, once uncovered in an African mine, to travel to India to be cut and polished and land in the showrooms of Paris or New York. The journey reveals some of globalization’s greatest fault lines—inequality, child labor, and outsourcing—and the people who too often fall through the cracks.
How to help:
Doctors on Call For Service DOCS, a Christian non-profit organisation working in Africa since 1994.