Press Releases

    SG/SM/8104
    AFR/373
    21 January 2002

    SECRETARY-GENERAL TO PUT UN ASSETS "TO FULL USE" IN ASSISTING GOVERNMENTS OF DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, RWANDA, CONCERNING VOLCANIC ERUPTION

    NEW YORK, 18 January (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

    The Secretary-General has learned with deep concern of the eruption of Mount Nyiragongo, near Goma, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He notes that this severe natural disaster is occurring in an area that has already suffered from years of conflict.

    He wishes to assure the Governments of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda that he will put the assets of the United Nations to full use in assisting them in mitigating the consequences of this disaster. To this end, he has requested Ross Mountain, Assistant Emergency Relief Coordinator, to travel to the region to support the United Nations country teams in coordinating their responses in full consultation with local authorities. He notes that members of the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination Team are also en route to the affected area, along with specialists in volcanology. Tomorrow, a United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) flight will leave Kinshasa for Kigali, carrying 28 metric tonnes of emergency supplies to meet the immediate needs of some 300,000 people who have been displaced by the disaster.

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