26/02/2003
Press Release
SC/7674



SECURITY COUNCIL PRESS STATEMENT ON DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO


Following is the statement to the press on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, delivered today by Security Council President Gunter Pleuger (Germany):


Members of the Council expressed their concern at the serious violations of human rights reported by the High Commissioner, Sergio Vieira de Mello.  They reiterated that there can be no impunity. They reiterated also the responsibility of each party for the maintenance of law and order in the areas under their control.


Members of the Council also expressed their concern at the situation in Ituri, and called on the Union des Patriotes Congolais to cooperate fully with the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), the humanitarian organizations, and to facilitate the implementation of the Ituri Pacification Committee.


Members of the Council called on all governments in the region, in particular the Governments of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and Uganda, to support the peace process in Ituri, to use their influence positively, and to refrain from taking or supporting any action that could aggravate the situation.  They urged them to work to establish confidence-building measures to promote security in the border areas.


Members of the Council called on the Congolese parties to resolve the outstanding issues to allow full and early implementation of the Pretoria Agreement of 17 December 2002, and to establish the transitional government in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


Members of the Council demanded that full access and full freedom of movement be provided to MONUC so that it could verify the implementation of the Pretoria Agreement of 30 July 2002 and investigate the allegations on the presence of Rwandan and other foreign troops in the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as the allegations of support by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the armed groups in the east of the country.


Members of the Council condemned the attack against MONUC’s helicopter in Bunia, warned those who committed this crime of grave consequences, and demanded that the perpetrators be identified and brought to justice immediately.


Members of the Council reiterated their full support to MONUC and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


The Council will address these concerns in more detail in due course.