16/01/2002
Press Release
AFR/371
SC/7275



PRESS STATEMENT ON DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO


BY PRESIDENT OF SECURITY COUNCIL


Following is the text of today’s press statement on the Democratic Republic of the Congo by the President of the Security Council, Jagdish Koonjul (Mauritius):


Members of the Council welcomed the progress in the peace process and called on the parties to redouble their efforts to bring this process forward.


Members of the Council reminded all parties of their obligation to facilitate the deployment of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), in particular in the east of the country, in conformity with Council resolution 1376 (2001).  They called on Rassemblement pour un Congo Democratique (RCD)/Goma and Rwanda to cooperate closely with MONUC in this regard.  They took note of the commitment by RCD to facilitate MONUC's deployment in Kindu and encouraged it to implement this commitment without delay.  They expressed their concern at the creation of the joint RCD/Mouvement de Liberation Congolais (MLC) force to be sent to Kindu.


Members of the Council called on Rwanda to bring to bear its influence on RCD/Goma for the demilitarization of Kisangani, in conformity with the Council's relevant resolutions.  They also called on all parties to the peace process to allow the full reopening of the River, so that commercial links can be reestablished between the different regions of the country.


Members of the Council recalled the importance of the process of disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, resettlement and reintegration (DDRRR) of armed groups, and encouraged the parties to bring forward the disarmament and repatriation of the fighters gathered in the Kamina base.


Members of the Council expressed their concern at the fighting in the east of the country, including fighting among rebel groups, whose first victims are the civilian population.  They demanded that an end be put to this fighting and that humanitarian law be respected.


Members of the Council reiterated their call for the total withdrawal of foreign forces and the cessation of any support to the armed groups, and urged all Congolese to show real political will for their commitment to the Inter-Congolese Dialogue.


Members of the Council welcomed the recent improvement of bilateral relations between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi.  They encouraged them to continue and invited all the parties to the conflict also to intensify their bilateral contacts.  In this regard, they welcomed the outcome of the recent Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summit held in Blantyre, which demonstrated the commitment of SADC for peace in the region.


Members of the Council urged the international donor community to increase its aid to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in support of the peace process, so that the progress of the peace process will mean concrete changes for the Congolese population, whose situation remains precarious.


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