28/07/2003
Press Release
SC/7828



Security Council

4797th Meeting* (AM)


SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO MISSION

UNTIL 30 JULY 2004, RAISES TROOP LEVEL TO 10,800


Unanimously Adopts Resolution 1493 (2003);

Institutes 12-Month Arms Embargo on North and South Kivu, Ituri


The Security Council, aiming to strengthen support for the peace process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, this morning extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission there until 30 July 2004, raised its authorized military strength to 10,800, and instituted a 12-month arms embargo over areas in the eastern part of the country.


Unanimously adopting resolution 1493 (2003), the Council for the first time since the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) was established in November 1999 put the mission in the context of Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter and authorized “all necessary means” to fulfil its mandate in the eastern part of the country -- the Ituri district and in North and South Kivu –- where armed conflict continues.


The Council also authorized MONUC to take the necessary measures in the areas of deployment of its armed units to:  protect civilians and humanitarian workers under imminent threat of physical violence; protect United Nations personnel and facilities and to ensure its freedom of movement, in particular those engaged in missions of observation, verification or demobilization, disarmament, repatriation, reintegration or resettlement; and contribute to the improvement of security conditions in which humanitarian assistance is provided.


In April this year, in Sun City, South Africa, two years of negotiations concluded in a package of agreements that constitute a comprehensive programme for the restoration of peace during a transition period of two years.  A transitional constitution was promulgated on 4 April and Joseph Kabila was sworn in as President for the transitional period on 7 April.


The Council requested the Secretary-General to deploy in the Ituri district, as soon as possible, a tactical brigade-size force, including the reinforced MONUC presence in Bunia by mid-August 2003.  It also requested the Secretary-General to deploy MONUC military observers in North and South Kivu and in Ituri in order to report regularly on the position of armed groups, presence of foreign military, and information concerning arms supply.


On 30 May, the Council adopted resolution 1484 (2003), which authorized establishment until September of an Interim Emergency Multinational Force in Bunia to contribute to the stabilization of the security and humanitarian situation there, with authorization to take all necessary measures to fulfil its mandate.


The Council further approved temporary deployment of MONUC personnel to participate in a security system in Kinshasa during the first months of the establishment of the transitional institutions and approved reconfiguration of the MONUC civilian police component.


The resolution further stressed the importance of respect for and protection of human rights and freedom of movement of United Nations personnel, and the importance of an unhindered process of disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, reintegration or resettlement.  It strongly condemned the continued recruitment and use of children in hostilities and also condemned the illegal exploitation of natural resources in the country.  Reaffirming the importance of a gender perspective in peacekeeping operations, the Council called on MONUC to increase the deployment of women as military observers, as well as in other capacities.


The Council further reaffirmed that an international conference on peace, security, democracy and development in the Great Lakes region of Africa should be organized under the aegis of the United Nations and the African Union.


Secretary-General Kofi Annan congratulated members on the resolution’s unanimous adoption, by which MONUC had been given the strong mandate it needed to fulfil its difficult mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  Through that text, he said, the Council had placed MONUC, in coordination with United Nations agencies and donors, in a key role to help the Congolese achieve a sustainable peace, leading up to a democratically elected government.  The international community should provide the resources needed to implement that far-reaching text.


The political and military leaders in that country had taken important steps in the past month to inaugurate the transitional government, but the road ahead over the next two to three years towards free and fair elections would be difficult.  In the final analysis, there would be no substitute for the resolve of the Congolese leaders to implement their commitments towards peace.  He sincerely hoped that they would continue to do so, thereby bringing an end to the terrible suffering, which had been endured by the Congolese people for so long.


[For the full text of the Secretary-General’s statement, see SG/SM/8795-SC/7829-AFR/678.]


The meeting started at 10:14 a.m. and was adjourned at 10:19 a.m.


The full text of the resolution reads as follows:


The Security Council,


Recalling its previous resolutions and the statements by its President concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo,


Reaffirming its commitment to respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and all the States of the region,


Reaffirming also the obligations of all States to refrain from the use of force against the territorial integrity and political independence of any State or in any other manner incompatible with the purposes and principles of the United Nations,


Concerned by the continued illegal exploitation of the natural resources of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and reaffirming in this regard its commitment to respect for the sovereignty of the Democratic Republic of the Congo over its natural resources,


Welcoming the conclusion of the Global and All Inclusive Agreement on the Transition in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (signed in Pretoria on 17 December 2002), and the subsequent establishment of the Government of National unity and Transition,


Deeply concerned by the continuation of hostilities in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, particularly in North and South Kivu and in Ituri, and by the grave violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law that accompany them,


Recalling that it is incumbent on all the parties to cooperate in the overall deployment of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC),


Renewing its support to the Interim Emergency Multinational Force deployed in Bunia and stressing the need to ensure effective and timely replacement of the Force, as requested in resolution 1484 (2003), to contribute in the best way to the stabilization of Ituri,


Taking note of the second special report of the Secretary-General on MONUC, of 27 May 2003 (S/2003/566), and of its recommendations,


Taking note also of the report of the Security Council Mission to Central Africa, of 18 June 2003 (S/2003/653),


Noting that the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region,


Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,


1.   Expresses satisfaction at the promulgation, on 4 April 2003, of the Transitional Constitution in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and at the formation, announced on 30 June 2003, of the Government of National unity and Transition, encourages the Congolese parties to take the necessary decisions in order to allow the transitional institutions to begin functioning effectively, and encourages them also in this regard to include representatives of the interim institutions that emerged from the Ituri Pacification Commission in the transitional institutions;


“2.   Decides to extend the mandate of MONUC until 30 July 2004;


“3.   Notes with appreciation the recommendations in the second special report of the Secretary-General and authorizes increasing the military strength of MONUC to 10,800 personnel;


“4.   Requests the Secretary-General to ensure, through his Special Representative for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who convenes the International Committee in support of the Transition, the coordination of all the activities of the United Nations system in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and to facilitate coordination with other national and international actors of activities in support of the transition;


5.   Encourages MONUC, in coordination with other United Nations agencies, donors and non-governmental organizations, to provide assistance, during the transition period, for the reform of the security forces, the re-establishment of a State based on the rule of law and the preparation and holding of elections, throughout the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and welcomes, in this regard, the efforts of the Member States to support the transition and national reconciliation;


“6.   Approves the temporary deployment of MONUC personnel intended, during the first months of the establishment of the transitional institutions, to participate in a multi-layer security system in Kinshasa in accordance with paragraphs 35 to 38 of the second special report of the Secretary-General, approves also the reconfiguration of the MONUC civilian police component as outlined in paragraph 42 of that report, and encourages MONUC to continue to support police development in areas of urgent need;


“7.   Encourages donors to support the establishment of an integrated Congolese police unit and approves the provision by MONUC of the additional assistance that might be needed for its training;


“8.   Strongly condemns the acts of violence systematically perpetrated against civilians, including the massacres, as well as other atrocities and violations of international humanitarian law and human rights, in particular, sexual violence against women and girls, stresses the need to bring to justice those responsible, including those at the command level, and urges all parties, including the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to take all necessary steps to prevent further violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, in particular those committed against civilians;


“9.   Reaffirms the importance of a gender perspective in peacekeeping operations in accordance with resolution 1325 (2000), recalls the need to address violence against women and girls as a tool of warfare, and in this respect encourages MONUC to continue to actively address this issue; and calls on MONUC to increase the deployment of women as military observers, as well as in other capacities;


“10.  Reaffirms that all Congolese parties have an obligation to respect human rights, international humanitarian law and the security and well-being of the civilian population;


“11.  Urges the Government of National unity and Transition to ensure that the protection of human rights and the establishment of a State based on the rule of law and of an independent judiciary are among its highest priorities, including the establishment of the necessary institutions as reflected in the Global and All-inclusive agreement, encourages the Secretary-General, through his Special Representative, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to coordinate their efforts in particular to assist the transitional authorities of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in order to put an end to impunity, and encourages also the African Union to play a role in this regard;


“12.  States that it is profoundly preoccupied by the humanitarian situation throughout the country and, in particular, in the eastern regions, and demands that all the parties guarantee the security of the civilian population, thereby enabling MONUC and humanitarian organizations to have total, unrestricted and immediate access to the population groups in need;


“13.  Strongly condemns the continued recruitment and use of children in the hostilities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, especially in North and South Kivu and in Ituri, and reiterates the request addressed to all the parties, in Security Council resolution 1460 (2003) to provide the Special Representative of the Secretary-General with information on the measures that they have taken to put an end to the recruitment and use of children in their armed components, as well as the requests concerning the protection of children set forth in resolution 1261 (1999) and subsequent resolutions;


“14.  Strongly condemns the continuing armed conflict in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo especially the serious ceasefire violations that occurred recently in North and South Kivu, including in particular the offensives by the Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD-Goma), demands that all the parties, in compliance with the Bujumbura “Acte d’Engagement” of 19 June 2003, establish without delay or precondition the full cessation of hostilities and withdraw to the positions agreed to in the Kampala/Harare disengagement plans, and that they refrain from any provocative action;


“15.  Demands that all the parties desist from any interference with freedom of movement of United Nations personnel, recalls that all the parties have the obligation to provide full and unhindered access to MONUC to allow it to carry out its mandate, and asks the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to report any failure to comply with this obligation;


“16.  Expresses concern at the fact that the continuing hostilities in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo are seriously compromising MONUC action in the process of the disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, reintegration or resettlement (DDRRR)of the foreign armed groups referred to in chapter 9.1 of the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement (S/1999/815), urges all the parties concerned to cooperate with MONUC and underscores the importance of making rapid and appreciable progress in that process;


“17.  Authorizes MONUC to assist the Government of National Unity and Transition in disarming and demobilizing those Congolese combatants who may voluntarily decide to enter the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) process within the framework of the Multi-Country Demobilization and Reintegration Programme, pending the establishment of a national DDR programme in coordination with the United Nations Development Programme and other agencies concerned;


“18.  Demands that all States and in particular those in the region, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, ensure that no direct or indirect assistance, especially military or financial assistance, is given to the movements and armed groups present in the Democratic Republic of the Congo;


“19.  Demands that all parties provide full access to MONUC military observers, including in ports, airports, airfields, military bases and border crossings, and requests the Secretary-General to deploy MONUC military observers in North and South Kivu and in Ituri and to report to the Security Council regularly on the position of the movements and armed groups and on information concerning arms supply and the presence of foreign military, especially by monitoring the use of landing strips in that region;


20.  Decides that all States, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, shall, for an initial period of 12 months from the adoption of this resolution, take the necessary measures to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer, from their territories or by their nationals, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, of arms and any related materiel, and the provision of any assistance, advice or training related to military activities, to all foreign and Congolese armed groups and militias operating in the territory of North and South Kivu and of Ituri, and to groups not party to the Global and All-inclusive agreement, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo;


“21.  Decides that the measures imposed by paragraph 20 above shall not apply to:


–- supplies to MONUC, the Interim Emergency Multinational Force deployed in Bunia and the integrated Congolese national army and police forces;


–- supplies of non-lethal military equipment intended solely for humanitarian or protective use, and related technical assistance and training as notified in advance to the Secretary-General through its Special Representative;


“22.  Decides that, at the end of the initial 12 months, the Security Council will review the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in particular in the eastern part of the country, with a view to renewing the measures stipulated in paragraph 20 above if no significant progress has been made in the peace process, in particular an end to support for armed groups, an effective ceasefire and progress in the DDRRR by foreign and Congolese armed groups;


“23.  Expresses its determination closely to monitor compliance with the measures laid down in paragraph 20 and to consider necessary, steps to ensure the effective monitoring and implementation of these measures, including the possible establishment of a monitoring mechanism;


“24.  Urges the States neighbouring the Democratic Republic of the Congo, particularly Rwanda and Uganda, which have an influence over movements and armed groups operating in the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to exercise a positive influence on them to settle their disputes by peaceful means and join in the process of national reconciliation;


“25.  Authorizes MONUC to take the necessary measures in the areas of deployment of its armed units, and as it deems it within its capabilities:


–- to protect United Nations personnel, facilities, installations and equipment;


-- to ensure the security and freedom of movement of its personnel, including in particular those engaged in missions of observation, verification or DDRRR;


-- to protect civilians and humanitarian workers under imminent threat of physical violence; and


-- to contribute to the improvement of the security conditions in which humanitarian assistance is provided;


“26.  Authorizes MONUC to use all necessary means to fulfil its mandate in the Ituri district and, as it deems it within its capabilities, in North and South Kivu;


“27.  Requests the Secretary-General to deploy in the Ituri district, as soon as possible, the tactical brigade-size force whose concept of operation is set out in paragraphs 48 to 54 of his second special report, including the reinforced MONUC presence in Bunia by mid-August 2003 as requested in resolution 1484 (2003), particularly with a view to helping to stabilize the security conditions and improving the humanitarian situation, ensuring the protection of airfields and displaced persons living in camps and, if the circumstances warrant it, helping to ensure the security of the civilian population and the personnel of the United Nations and the humanitarian organizations in Bunia and its environs and eventually, as the situation permits, in other parts of Ituri;


“28.  Condemns categorically the illegal exploitation of the natural resources and other sources of wealth of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and expresses its intention to consider means that could be used to end it, awaits with interest the report to be submitted shortly by the group of experts on such illegal exploitation and on the link that exists between it and the continuation of hostilities, and demands that all parties and interested States offer full cooperation to the group of experts;


“29.  Encourages the Governments of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi to take steps to normalize their relations and cooperate in assuring mutual security along their common borders, and invites these Governments to conclude good-neighbourly agreements among themselves;


“30.  Reaffirms that an international conference on peace, security, democracy and development in the Great Lakes region of Africa, with participation by all the Governments of the region and all the other parties concerned, should be organized at the appropriate time under the aegis of the United Nations and the African Union with a view to strengthening stability in the region and working out conditions that will enable everyone to enjoy the right to live peacefully within national borders;


31.  Reiterates its support unreservedly for the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and for all MONUC personnel, and for the efforts they continue to make to assist the parties in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in the region to advance the peace process;


“32.  Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”


Background


When the Security council met to discuss the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it had before it the second special report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) (S/2003/566 and S/2003/566/Corr.1), in which the Secretary-General among other things recommends extension of MONUC’s mandate until 30 June 2004, and an increase of authorized military strength to 10,800 personnel, up from 8,700, and staff increase in other areas.


The Council implemented another recommendation when it adopted resolution 1484 (2003) on 30 May, which authorized establishment until September of an Interim Emergency Multinational Force in Bunia to contribute to the stabilization of the security and humanitarian situation there, with authorization to take all necessary measures to fulfil its mandate.


According to the report, on 2 April in Sun City, South Africa, participants in the inter-Congolese dialogue signed the Final Act of the inter-Congolese political negotiations, endorsing a comprehensive programme for the restoration of peace and national sovereignty during a transition period of two years.  After promulgating the Transitional Constitution on 4 April, Joseph Kabila was formally sworn in as President for the transitional period on 7 April.  That was followed by the promulgation of a decree granting amnesty faits de guerre and infractions politiques et d’opinion and the abolition of the Cour d’ordre militaire.


On 14 April, President Kabila convened in Kinshasa the first meeting of the Follow-up Commission whose purpose is to prepare for the installation of new institutions, which has met twice since then.  On 10 April, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Amos Namanga Ngongi, convened the first meeting of the International Committee in Support of the Transition in Kinshasa.


The Secretary-General observes that after five years of continuous fighting, the DRC finds itself at an intersection of peace and war.  The definitive and successful conclusion of the inter-Congolese dialogue is a crucial milestone for the Congolese parties to finally pursue a path of peace and reconciliation.  It is also a milestone for the United Nations, as since August 1999 the primary role of MONUC has been to facilitate implementation of the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement.  Despite slow and partial compliance by the parties, there have been major achievements, including the disengagement of foreign armed forces, withdrawal of the majority of foreign troops and initial progress in the ad hoc disarmament, demobilization and repatriation of Rwandan armed groups.


According to the Secretary-General, the peace process has now moved beyond the Lusaka framework and begun a new chapter that will require the comprehensive engagement and assistance of the United Nations and the international community.  The main focus of MONUC should now shift to facilitating and assisting the transitional process.  The Mission should, therefore, be reconfigured and augmented.


In the All-Inclusive Agreement, the United Nations has been requested to deploy a force to participate in the multi-layered confidence-building security system, to give confidence to transitional leaders in Kinshasa.  To carry out the new tasks, MONUC would require 15 civilian police officers, 55 liaison offices, and 34 officers to serve as security technical advisers to various Congolese police and security entities.


Many other challenges remain, especially the brutal conflicts in Ituri and in the Kivus, the Secretary-General states.  In that context, there can be no justification for supplying weapons to any group, and the Secretary-General, therefore, recommends that the possibility of an arms embargo be considered in Ituri and the Kivus.  The MONUC has a role to play in encouraging and assisting local and international partners in conflict resolution by expanding the presence of its civilian personnel and military observers in the Kivus.  The Secretary-General calls on donors to contribute to a special fund for local peacemaking to be used by his Special Representative.  The fund could be used for quick-impact projects in support of local grass-roots initiatives.


The Secretary-General stresses that the disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, resettlement and reintegration of foreign armed groups must remain an important goal of the international community.  It is recognized, however, that a successful programme is not a prerequisite to a lasting peace process, but its by-product.  Equally important for the transition process is the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of Congolese armed and irregular forces.  The Secretary-General, therefore, proposes that MONUC’s mandate be expanded to assist the transitional government, at its request, to plan the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of Congolese combatants in the context of the creation of unified national Congolese armed forces.


Despite the best will of the Organization and its partners, the peace process cannot move forward without the demonstrated commitment of the Congolese leaders.  Key benchmarks that the parties must observe in the coming weeks include the immediate cessation of hostilities and of inflammatory rhetoric; the lifting of restrictions on free movement of goods and people; liberalization of political activity in the areas under their control; disbandment of armed groups; and taking steps to establish the high command of the integrated national armed forces and to form an initial unit of integrated police.


The illicit exploitation of natural resources has criminalized the conflict and deprived the Congolese people of their heritage and livelihood, the report states. The transitional government must produce, in a transparent manner, a budget with provisions for key State services.  To this end, the Government should be held accountable for the effective management of the country’s national resources, and necessary assistance should be provided towards this end.


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*     The 4795th and 4796th Meetings of 25 July were closed.