14/05/2004
Press Release
SC/8093



Security Council                                           

4969th Meeting (PM)                                         


IN PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT, SECURITY COUNCIL EXPRESSES ‘SERIOUS CONCERN’ OVER REPORTED


INCURSION INTO DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO BY ELEMENTS OF RWANDAN ARMY


Also Condemns Impediments to Freedom of Movement by UN Mission There


The Security Council condemned this afternoon any impediments to the freedom of movement of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) and reaffirmed its full support for its efforts to stabilize the situation in the eastern part of that country.


In a presidential statement (document S/PRST/2004/15) read out by Council President Munir Akram (Pakistan), the Council expressed its serious concern over recent reports of an incursion into the Democratic Republic of the Congo by elements of the Rwandan army.  It further expressed its concern at reports of increased military activity by the Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda (FDLR) in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and of incursions by them into the territory of Rwanda.


According to the statement, the Council attached great importance to respect for the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of both countries, of which it condemned any violation.  It demanded that the Government of Rwanda take measures to prevent any presence of its troops on Congolese territory.


The Council also called on both the Congolese and Rwandan Governments to investigate jointly, with the assistance of MONUC, the substance of recent reports on armed incursions across their mutual border.  It called further on both Governments to establish border security mechanisms to prevent the recurrence of such incidents.


It underlined that the disarmament and demobilization of all armed groups, including in particular the ex-Forces armées rwandaises (ex-FAR) and Interahamwé combatants, were essential to the settlement of the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  It also called on the Rwandan and Congolese Governments to do their best to facilitate the swift and voluntary repatriation of Rwandan combatants from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


Reaffirming its support for the commitments made by both Governments in Pretoria, South Africa, on 27 November 2003, the Council urged them to implement expeditiously the provisions contained in the communiqué issued on that date.  It urged all governments in the region to encourage the re-establishment of confidence between neighbouring countries, in accordance with the Declaration of Principles on Good-Neighbourly Relations and Cooperation between the Governments of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and of Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda, adopted in New York, by regional leaders on 25 September 2003.


The meeting began at 12:52 p.m. and adjourned at 12:59 p.m.


Presidential Statement


Following is the full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2004/15:


“The Security Council expresses its serious concern regarding recent reports of an incursion into the Democratic Republic of the Congo by elements of the Rwandan army,


“The Security Council further expresses its concern at the reports of increased military activities of the Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda (FDLR) in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and of incursions made by them on the territory of Rwanda,


“The Security Council condemns in this context any impediments to the freedom of movement of MONUC and reaffirms its full support for MONUC’s efforts to stabilize the situation in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and encourages MONUC to continue to report to it on the military situation in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in accordance with its mandate,


“The Security Council attaches great importance to respect for the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, of which it condemns any violation, as well as any violation of its relevant resolutions,


“The Security Council also attaches great importance to respect for the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Rwanda, and condemns any incursions of armed groups into this country,


“The Security Council demands that the Government of Rwanda takes measures to prevent the presence of any of its troops on the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo,


“The Security Council calls on the Governments of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda to investigate jointly, with the assistance of MONUC, the substance of recent reports on armed incursions across their mutual border,


“The Security Council further calls on both Governments to establish border security mechanisms to prevent the recurrence of such incidents,


“The Security Council reaffirms its support for the commitments made by the Governments of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda in Pretoria, on 27 November 2003, and urges both Governments to implement expeditiously the provisions contained in the communiqué issued on that date,


“The Security Council further underlines that the disarmament and demobilization of all armed groups, including in particular the ex-Forces armées rwandaises (ex-FAR) and Interahamwé combatants, are essential to the settlement of the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and calls on the Governments of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to take all necessary measures to facilitate the swift and voluntary repatriation of Rwandan combatants from the Democratic Republic of the Congo,


“The Security Council encourages the Governments of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda to continue to take steps to normalize their relations, it commends, in this context, the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo for the efforts that led to the arrest of Mr. Yusufu Munyakazi, indicted, inter alia, on charges of genocide, and his subsequent transfer to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and it calls on all Member States to intensify efforts to arrest and transfer suspects sought by the Tribunal,


“The Security Council urges all Governments in the region to encourage the re-establishment of confidence between neighbouring countries, in accordance with the Declaration of Principles on Good-Neighbourly Relations and Cooperation between the Governments of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and of Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda, adopted in New York, by leaders of the region, on 25 September 2003, with a view to achieving the normalization of their relations.”


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