29 May 1997


Press Release
SC/6377



SECURITY COUNCIL EXPRESSES SUPPORT FOR PEOPLE OF DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO AS 'NEW PERIOD IN THEIR HISTORY' BEGINS

19970529
Presidential Statement Also Calls for Immediate End to Violence Against Refugees, Cooperation with UN Mission Investigating Reported Massacres

The Security Council, this evening, expressed its support for the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo as "they begin a new period in their history", its respect for their legitimate national aspirations to achieve progress to the benefit of all, and opposed any interference in the internal affairs of that country.

Through a statement read out by its President, Park Soo Gil (Republic of Korea), the Council also reiterated in the strongest terms its call for complete cooperation with the United Nations mission investigating reports of massacres, other atrocities and violations of international humanitarian law in the country, including to provide its full and immediate access and to ensure its security. It expressed particular concern over reports that refugees in the east of the country were being systematically killed and called for an immediate end to the violence against refugees.

Further by the statement, the Council, in accordance with the United Nations five-point peace plan, called for the rapid and peaceful settlement of the crisis through dialogue and the convening of an international conference on peace, security, and development in the Great Lakes region of Africa under the auspices of the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity (OAU). It reaffirmed its statement of 30 April calling for rapid agreement on peaceful transitional arrangements leading to the holding of democratic and free elections with the participation of all parties.

The Council also reaffirmed the national sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and called for the withdrawal of all external forces, including mercenaries.

The five-point peace plan set out in a letter of the Secretary-General dated 18 February was endorsed by the Council in resolution 1097 (1997). It calls for immediate cessation of hostilities; withdrawal of external forces, including mercenaries; respect for the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of the countries of the region; protection and security for all refugees and displaced persons; and rapid and peaceful settlement of the crisis through dialogue.


The meeting began at 6:26 p.m. and adjourned at 6:33 p.m.

Presidential Statement

The full text of the statement, which will be issued as document S/PRST/1997/31, reads as follows:

"The Security Council expresses its support for the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo as they begin a new period in their history. The Council respects the legitimate national aspirations of the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to achieve peace, national reconciliation and progress in the political, economic and social fields to the benefit of all, and opposes any interference in its internal affairs.

"The Security Council recalls its resolution 1097 (1997) of 18 February 1997 which endorses the United Nations five-point peace plan.

"The Security Council welcomes the end of the fighting and expresses its satisfaction that stability has begun to return to the country.

"The Security Council reaffirms the national sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and calls for the withdrawal of all external forces, including mercenaries.

"The Security Council, in accordance with the United Nations five-point peace plan, calls for the rapid and peaceful settlement of the crisis through dialogue and the convening of an international conference on peace, security, and development in the Great Lakes region. The Council also reaffirms the statement of its President of 30 April 1997 (S/PRST/1997/24) calling for rapid agreement on peaceful transitional arrangements leading to the holding of democratic and free elections with the participation of all parties.

"The Security Council believes that the convening of an international conference on peace, security and development in the Great Lakes region under the auspices of the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity will be essential in promoting regional peace and stability.

"The Security Council, in accordance with the United Nations five-point peace plan, calls for protection and security for all refugees and displaced persons and facilitation of access to humanitarian assistance. It reiterates its call for full respect for the rights of refugees and displaced persons, and for access and safety for humanitarian relief workers. It also reiterates in the strongest terms its call for complete cooperation with the United Nations mission investigating reports of massacres, other atrocities and violations of international humanitarian law in the country, including to provide it full and immediate access and to ensure its security. It is particularly concerned by reports that refugees in the east of the country are


Security Council - 3 - Press Release SC/6377 3784th Meeting (Night) 29 May 1997

being systematically killed. It calls for an immediate end to the violence against refugees in the country.

"The Security Council expresses its deep appreciation to the Secretaries-General of the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity and their Special Representative, to the Government of South Africa, and to all those inside and outside the region for their efforts to facilitate a peaceful solution to the crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo."

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