SC/7722

                                                            AFR/599

8 April 2003


PRESS STATEMENT ON DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO BY SECURITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT


Following is today’s press statement on the Democratic Republic of the Congo by Security Council President Adolfo Aguilar Zinser (Mexico):


Members of the Security Council condemned the offensive launched by the RCD/Goma in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and they enjoined it to recall immediately its troops to the agreed positions.


Members of the Council condemned the massacres perpetrated in the Ituri area and asked that the perpetrators be identified and brought to justice immediately.  Additionally, they requested the High Commissioner for Human Rights to initiate an investigation on these events and report to the Council as soon as possible.  They called on the Ugandan forces to withdraw from the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo without delay and recalled that so long as they are deployed on the ground, these forces have the responsibility to ensure the safety of the civilian population.  They called on all parties to cooperate fully with the Ituri Pacification Committee, which has just started its work.


Council Members demanded the immediate cessation of the fighting and massacres in the eastern part the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and of all that might delay or hinder the establishment of the institutions of the transition.  They called on all Congolese parties, and those who have influence over them in the region, to ensure that the transitional Government in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is established as soon as possible.


Members of the Council reiterated their full support for the role of United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) in support of the peace process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


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