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Last Updated: Saturday, 28 January 2006, 04:26 GMT
UN condemns Great Lakes militias
A survivor of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda prays over the bones of genocide victims at a mass grave in Nyamata
The 1994 Rwandan genocide still casts a shadow over the region
The UN Security Council has unanimously passed a resolution condemning militias and other armed groups destabilising central Africa's Great Lakes region.

The vote followed a marathon debate in which foreign ministers from more than 10 countries in the area took part.

The vote came just days after eight UN peacekeepers were killed in the Democratic Republic of Congo by Uganda's rebel Lord's Resistance Army.

Conflicts in the Great Lakes have led to millions of deaths.

In Rwanda alone, some 800,000 people were killed in the 1994 genocide.

'Historic opportunity'

The Security Council debate heard also from diplomats and special envoys to the region.

Click below for a more detailed map of the area

The murders of the UN peacekeepers from Guatemala by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) were condemned by several African foreign ministers.

DR Congo's Foreign Minister Raymond Bayaramazani said the incident strengthened his government's determination to eradicate all armed groups along the eastern border.

The LRA has become notorious for its atrocities against civilians in northern Uganda and its abduction of children.

Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa said there was "an historic opportunity" for the international community "to decisively deal" with the LRA.

However, the BBC's Susannah Price at the UN says there were some positive notes, with speakers praising the continuing electoral process in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the progress made by Burundi as it emerges from years of civil war.

Belgian Foreign Minister Karel de Gucht said the Great Lakes region had the potential to become the motor of African development.



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