Security Council urges political solution to crisis in eastern DR Congo

The United Nations Security Council today urged key players to seek a political solution to the ongoing crisis in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where insecurity has led to the displacement of some 700,000 people. In a statement read out by Ambassador Wang Guangya of China, which holds the Council’s rotating presidency this month, the 15-member body expressed its “deep concern at the deteriorating security situation in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in particular in North and South Kivu.” The Council also urged key players to “refrain from any action leading to a military confrontation, that could result in further tension and aggravate the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Kivus, and to seek a solution to the current crisis through political and diplomatic means.” Ambassador Wang’s statement also called on the mixed brigades and their commanders to integrate into the Congolese armed forces and to stop recruiting activities. Today’s statement called on the Government to develop, in coordination with the UN Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC), a plan to ensure security in the eastern part of the vast nation, including by promoting disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of Congolese and foreign combatants, as well as reconciliation, recovery and development. In addition, members of the Council emphasized the need to extend State authority throughout the region, and welcomed the intention of the Congolese authorities to facilitate an inclusive dialogue in the Kivus. Last week, the Council was briefed on the DRC by Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Marie Guéhenno, who said the concentration of Government forces and rebels led by General Nkunda in a “very volatile area where there are a number of unresolved issues” has resulted in a “very dangerous situation.” Mr. Guéhenno said the Congolese parties must “move away from the brink.” Responding to reporters’ questions, Mr. Guéhenno noted that Mr. Nkunda’s forces pose “the single most serious threat to the stabilization of the DRC at this stage.” 23 July 2007The United Nations Security Council today urged key players to seek a political solution to the ongoing crisis in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where insecurity has led to the displacement of some 700,000 people. read more

Royal Bank profit beats expectations but provisions for credit losses climb

TORONTO — Royal Bank of Canada earned $3.23 billion in its latest quarter, helped by growth in its capital markets, personal and commercial banking and wealth management businesses.The bank says the profit amounted to $2.20 per diluted share for the quarter ended April 30.The result compared with a profit of $3.06 billion or $2.06 per diluted share a year ago.Total provisions for credit losses climbed to $426 million, up from $274 million in the same quarter last year, due to higher provisions in personal and commercial banking, wealth management and capital markets.On an adjusted basis, RBC reported $2.23 in diluted cash earnings per share for the quarter, up from $2.10 per share a year ago.Analysts on average had expected a profit of $2.21, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon. read more