Press release

Minister for Africa visits Democratic Republic of Congo

Minister for Africa, Mark Simmonds, visits the Democratic Republic of Congo supporting unique opportunity for peace in 2014.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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During the visit, Mark Simmonds will meet with His Excellency President Joseph Kabila and Foreign Minister Raymond Tshibanda, setting out the UK’s strong support for measures to forge continued economic growth and opportunities for the region.

Years of fighting have devastated eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), but following the successful conclusion in December 2013 of the Kampala Peace Talks, optimism is building for sustainable peace and prosperity for the future. The Minister will reiterate the UK’s ongoing support to ending the cycle of conflict. He will travel outside of the capital to see first-hand the impact of conflict on the people of the DRC.

The Minister will visit Heal Africa in Goma to learn more about the devastating impact of sexual violence in conflict in the DRC, and to see how a UK-funded project will support local communities to end it.

He will also attend events focused on improving transparency in government and meet a group of British businesses in Kinshasa to discuss the challenges and opportunities of investing in the DRC.

On his arrival, Mark Simmonds said:

2014 provides a unique opportunity for greater stability in the DRC and the Great Lakes. The UK is committed to supporting the DRC in achieving an end to the cycle of conflict from which its people have suffered for so long.

I look forward to my discussions with President Kabila and I will reiterate the UK’s support in working towards a peaceful and prosperous DRC.

Further information

Follow Foreign Office Minister Mark Simmonds on twitter @MarkJSimmonds

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Published 4 February 2014