Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Haile Menkerios, who was sent by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the special mission last week, began his meetings in Kinshasa on Saturday, according to the UN Mission in the DRC (MONUC). Mr. Menkerios also traveled to Goma where he held talks with North Kivu’s Governor, Julian Paluku and the Commander of the 8th Military Region, General Vainqueur Mayala, as well as representatives of the civil society groups, communities and other concerned players. Speaking to reporters on his arrival, Mr. Menkerios said he had been sent by the Secretary-General to explore how the UN can reinforce support for the Congolese and neighbouring countries in the search for a common strategy. He also reiterated the UN’s full commitment to supporting the Government in its efforts to bring stability to the eastern part of the country. The aim is to foster a lasting solution to the crisis in the region, where some 800,000 people have been displaced by fighting, a MONUC spokesperson said today. Mr. Menkerios travelled on Monday to Kigali, the next leg on his tour of the region. 7 November 2007Aiming to facilitate efforts to achieve a lasting solution to the crisis in the strife-torn North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a senior United Nations official has held meeting with local authorities there.