UN Security Council Presidential Statement on the Democratic Republic of the Congo

New York, NY
July 25, 2013




NOTE: This is issued in the United States’ capacity as President of the UN Security Council.

The Security Council reiterates its support for the implementation of the commitments under the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the region (PSC Framework), which is essential to achieving lasting peace and security in eastern DRC and the Great Lakes region.

The Security Council welcomes in this regard the actions taken thus far by the signatories and guarantors of the PSC Framework, including the convening of the first “11+4” meeting of the Regional Oversight Mechanism of the PSC Framework in Addis Ababa on 26 May 2013 and the two first meetings of the Technical Support Committee in Nairobi on 24 June and 22 July 2013, which aimed to make progress on the establishment of benchmarks to assess the implementation of the PSC Framework by all signatories. In this context, the Security Council looks forward to the ICGLR summit, scheduled to take place on 31 July in Nairobi, to further review developments in the region, including progress on the implementation of the PSC Framework. The Security Council encourages the UN, AU, ICGLR and SADC and other relevant international and regional organizations to continue to work together, with the sustained engagement and support of the international community, towards the implementation of the PSC Framework.

The Security Council calls on the DRC and the countries of the region to implement promptly, fully, and in good faith, their respective commitments under the PSC Framework. The Security Council calls on the DRC to continue and expand security sector reform, consolidate state authority, make progress on decentralization, and further the agenda of reconciliation, tolerance, and democratization. The Security Council calls on all countries of the region to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of neighboring countries, not to interfere in the internal affairs of neighboring countries, not to harbour persons accused of violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law or persons listed by UN sanctions regimes, and promote accountability. The Security Council calls on all countries of the region neither to tolerate nor provide assistance or support of any kind to armed groups.

The Security Council welcomes the establishment of a national oversight mechanism by President Joseph Kabila of the DRC, as requested by the PSC Framework and Resolution 2098 (2013), and calls on the President of the DRC to ensure transparency and inclusiveness in this mechanism. The Security Council calls on the government of the DRC to implement promptly its commitment on security sector reform, including through the further development and implementation of a comprehensive military and police reform plan and the formation of a well-trained, adequately equipped and accountable “Rapid Reaction Force” able to take over the responsibilities of the Intervention Brigade of MONUSCO (United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo). The Security Council reaffirms in this context the leading role of the Special Representative of the Secretary General in coordinating support for security sector reform provided by international and bilateral partners and the UN system, and his role in assisting the government of the DRC to implement its commitments under the PSC Framework. The Security Council also reiterates that the government of the DRC bears the primary responsibility for security, protection of civilians, promotion and protection of human rights, national reconciliation, peacebuilding and development in the country.

The Security Council reiterates its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the DRC as well as of all countries of the region and emphasizes the need to respect fully the principles of non-interference, good-neighborliness and regional cooperation.

The Security Council commends the joint visit of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the President of the World Bank Group Jim Yong Kim, accompanied by Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region Mary Robinson, to the DRC, Rwanda and Uganda from 22 to 24 May 2013 in support of the PSC Framework, and welcomes the announcement made by the World Bank of $1 billion in planned funding for development projects in the Great Lakes region aiming at the recovery of livelihoods to reduce the vulnerability of the people of the region and the revitalization and expansion of cross-border economic activity. In this regard, the Security Council encourages multilateral institutions and bilateral partners to support the objectives of the PSC Framework and stresses the importance of swiftly delivering concrete peace dividends.

The Security Council commends the personal diplomatic engagement of the Secretary-General and reaffirms its strong support to his Special Envoy, Mary Robinson. The Security Council encourages Special Envoy Mary Robinson, in coordination with and with appropriate support from the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the DRC, to continue to lead, coordinate and assess the implementation of national and regional commitments under the PSC Framework, including through the development of benchmarks and appropriate follow-up measures to be presented for adoption at the next meeting of the “11+4” Regional Oversight Mechanism in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2013. The Council further commends her efforts to include women and civil society in the implementation of the PSC Framework and to promote the full and effective participation of women in conflict resolution and peace building, including through the implementation of a Sub-regional Action Plan for the implementation of resolution 1325 (2000). It welcomes in this regard the Regional Conference on Women, Peace, Security and Development held in Bujumbura on 9-11 July 2013.

The Security Council condemns the renewed attacks launched from 20 to 22 May 2013 and again on 14 July 2013 by the “March 23 Movement” (M23) rebel group in the Mutaho area, in the vicinity of Goma in violation of resolutions 2076 (2012) and 2098 (2013), which caused civilian casualties and displacements, and undermined regional and international efforts to peacefully and permanently resolve the crisis in eastern DRC. The Security Council renews its strong condemnation of the continued presence of the M23 in the immediate vicinity of Goma and its attempts to establish an illegitimate parallel administration in North-Kivu and demands that the M23 fully disband and disarm.

The Security Council takes note that hundreds of M23 combatants, including individuals listed by the UN sanctions regime concerning the DRC, fled from the DRC into Rwanda on 18 March 2013. The Security Council notes with appreciation the initial steps swiftly taken by the government of Rwanda to handle this situation and encourages the government of Rwanda to continue to collaborate with the United Nations and relevant international organizations to ensure that these combatants are permanently demobilized and are dealt with according to relevant international law, with special attention to children and women among them.

The Security Council expresses concern at the increased activity of the FDLR (Forces démocratiques de liberation du Rwanda) in eastern DRC, including reports of attacks by the FDLR on Rwandan territory, and demands that the FDLR fully disband and disarm.

The Security Council also condemns the renewed attacks by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF-NALU) on 11 July 2013 against the FARDC in Kamango and on 14 July 2013 against MONUSCO forces along the Muba-Kamango axis, which have resulted in 66,000 Congolese refugees and caused casualties among both the FARDC and MONUSCO.

The Security Council demands that the M23, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), the ADF-NALU, the Mayi Mayi Kata-Katanga and all other armed groups cease immediately all forms of violence, including sexual and gender-based violence, continuing recruitment and use of children, destabilizing activities, human rights abuses, violations of international humanitarian law, and attempts to undermine or supplant the DRC government. The Security Council stresses that all perpetrators of such abuses and violations should be held accountable. The Security Council further demands that the members of all armed groups immediately and permanently disband and lay down their arms, and calls for the restoration of state authority of the government of the DRC in eastern DRC. It strongly condemns the large scale recruitment and use of children by armed groups. The Council emphasises the renewed commitment of all countries of the region to neither tolerate nor provide assistance or support of any kind to armed groups.

The Security Council condemns the widespread incidents of sexual and gender based violence in the DRC and emphasizes the importance of effective steps to prevent and respond to such acts. It further recalls that rape and other forms of sexual violence in armed conflict are war crimes, and calls for the investigation and prosecution of those responsible, in order to end impunity for such crimes.

The Security Council expresses grave concern about the ongoing humanitarian crisis, including the 2.6 million internally displaced people and the 6.4 million people in need of food assistance and emergency agricultural aid, and calls upon all parties to allow safe and unhindered access for the timely and full delivery of humanitarian aid to all civilians in urgent need of assistance, in accordance with relevant provisions of international law, including international humanitarian law and the UN guiding principles of humanitarian assistance. The Security Council further expresses concern with the over 500,000 refugees from the DRC in neighboring countries and calls upon the DRC and all States in the region to work towards the peaceful environment that will allow for the eventual and voluntary return of refugees to the DRC, with the support, as appropriate, of UNHCR. The Security Council commends in this regard the support provided by neighboring countries to refugees from the DRC.

The Security Council condemns the violations of international human rights and humanitarian law committed by members of the FARDC, including the mass rapes committed in Minova on 24 November 2012, and calls upon the government of the DRC to swiftly apprehend, bring to justice, and hold accountable those responsible for such violations, regardless of military rank. The Security Council further calls on the government of the DRC to implement improved vetting mechanisms and establish more effective judicial mechanisms within its security forces.

The Security Council expresses grave concern about reports of alleged mistreatment of M23 detainees and the desecration of corpses of M23 combatants by members of the FARDC. The Security Council welcomes steps taken by the Congolese armed forces and MONUSCO to investigate these claims and to hold the perpetrators accountable for these acts, which constitute violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. The Security Council takes note of steps taken by MONUSCO to review its support to FARDC Units suspected of being involved in these incidents in line with the United Nations Human Rights Due Diligence Policy.

The Security Council further calls upon the government of the DRC to continue to implement its action plan to prevent and end the recruitment and use of children as well as prevent and end all acts of sexual violence against children by the FARDC.

The Security Council encourages Special Envoy Mary Robinson, building on the PSC Framework, to continue to lead a comprehensive political process that includes all relevant stakeholders to address the underlying root causes of the conflict and ensures that those responsible for human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law are held accountable and are not eligible for integration into the state security forces.

The Security Council welcomes the contribution of MONUSCO to a comprehensive approach to addressing the security situation in the DRC and encourages rapid completion of the deployment of the Intervention Brigade of MONUSCO. The Security Council acknowledges the commitment of all troop contributing countries to MONUSCO to implementing the full range of responsibilities under the mission’s civilian protection mandate, including the responsibilities assigned to the Intervention Brigade, in line with resolution 2098 (2013).

The Security Council recognizes the significant sacrifices made by MONUSCO and the troop contributing countries and expresses appreciation for their efforts to improve peace and stability in the DRC.

The Security Council condemns all threats or attacks against peacekeepers and emphasizes that those responsible for such threats or attacks must be held accountable. The Security Council recalls in this regard its intention to consider additional targeted sanctions, in accordance with the criteria set out in paragraphs 3 and 4 of resolution 2078 (2012), and its decision to extend sanctions measures to individuals and entities who plan, sponsor or participate in attacks against MONUSCO peacekeepers.

###



PRN: 2013/130