Adopting a Presidential Statement, the 15-nation Council spotlighted, among other things, cross-border issues, including the large flows of natural resources, migrants and refugees, as well as the activities of armed groups and criminal networks in and around the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).“Solutions to the prevailing situation in the Great Lakes region should come within a regional perspective, by addressing the root causes of conflicts, many of which are regional in nature,” the Council underscored.The Council expressed grave concern over the continued illicit exploitation of natural resources and their trade in the eastern DRC, urging coordinated efforts by the signatory States of the Peace, Security and Cooperation (PSC) Framework, regional organizations and the international community to undercut the economic lifelines of armed groups benefitting from those activities.Today’s adoption of the text followed the 21 March Council open debate on the prevention and resolution of conflicts in the Great Lakes region, held under Angola’s presidency for the month.On the security front, the Council reiterated the importance of neutralizing all armed groups in country’s eastern part, particularly the Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda (FDLR), Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the various Mai Mai groups, in accordance with resolution 2277 (2016).Noting the announcement of the resumption of joint military operations between the DRC’s Government and the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in DRC (MONUSCO), the Council called for immediate restart of such activities in earnest to completely neutralize those armed groups.Turning to the political front, the Council urged regional support for initiatives aimed at promoting inclusive dialogue amongst national stakeholders and stressed the importance of enabling the full and free participation of peaceful political parties, civil society and the media in the political process.The Great Lakes region includes Burundi and Rwanda as well as Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.While welcoming the credible and peaceful conduct of elections in some States in the region, the Council noted that the recent and ongoing electoral processes in other States raise deep concerns about the risk of instability, human rights and humanitarian law violations and abuses, and further displacement of people.The Council called on States in the region to take steps to ensure that electoral processes promote peace and security through timely, peaceful, inclusive and credible elections.
ONE OF POLAND’S top veterinarians said today that traces of horse-meat DNA have been found in beef samples taken from three meat processors — the first acknowledgement that the country could be a source of the horse meat that fraudulently ended up in processed meat products sold as beef across Europe.Deputy National Veterinarian Janusz Zwiazek said the DNA was found in three samples out of 121 tested. They came from cold storage at processing plants in central Poland. The meat arrived there from various suppliers in Poland and abroad, including from the Netherlands, Zwiazek told The Associated Press.Dutch authorities also announced today that their large-scale testing program has uncovered horse meat in two samples out of 370 tests it has carried out since Europe’s horse meat scandal erupted.The country’s Food and Wares Authority said it found horse DNA in a batch of beef cuttings and in a meatball labeled as containing only beef and pork at a meat processor and a frozen storage center.The authority did not release the names of the companies where it found the horse meat traces.In Greece, authorities said they detected traces of horse meat in salami labeled as containing beef that was imported from the Netherlands, and in frozen kebabs packaged locally. It was unclear whether the kebab meat was locally produced or imported, and food safety authorities were not available for comment.Greece first detected horse DNA in meat labeled as beef on Wednesday, in frozen meat from Romania.Polish authorities said some 80 more samples are to be tested, and separate tests are needed to determine the proportion of horse meat.All three contamination cases have been reported to the prosecutors, Zwiazek said.“I want to find the culprit, or culprits,” he said.Read: Ikea withdraws Wiener sausages as they await horsemeat DNA tests>