18/04/2005
Press Release
SC/8361


Security Council

5163rd Meeting (PM)


SECURITY COUNCIL WIDENS ARMS EMBARGO ON DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

 

TO INCLUDE TRAVEL BAN, ASSETS FREEZE ON VIOLATORS

 


Resolution 1596 (2005), Adopted Unanimously,

Condemns Continuing Illicit Flow of Weapons into CongoleseTerritory


The Security Council, condemning the continuing illicit flow of weapons within and into the Democratic Republic of the Congo, decided today that the arms embargo imposed by resolution 1493 of July 2003 would, from now on, apply to any recipient within that country’s territory, and imposed a travel ban and assets freeze on those violating the embargo.


Unanimously adopting resolution 1596 (2005) under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Council also requested the Secretary-General to re-establish, within 30 days from the date of its adoption, and for a period expiring on 31 July, the Group of Experts tasked with monitoring the embargo with the addition of a fifth expert for financial issues.  It also requested him to provide the Group with the necessary resources to fulfil its mandate.


In its report of January 2005, the Group of Experts recommended, among other things, that the Council revisit the target of the embargo with a view to clarifying its terms and exemptions.  Also, in order to enhance the effectiveness of the monitoring mechanism and embargo enforcement, it recommended that the Council extend the arms embargo to the entire national territory.  Today, the Council decided in that regard that the embargo would not apply to supplies of arms and related materiel or technical training and assistance intended solely for support of or use by units of the national army and police, provided that conditions stipulated in the resolution applied.


Also by the text, those conditions would not apply to supplies of arms and related materiel, or technical training and assistance intended solely for support of or use by the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC); supplies of non-lethal military equipment intended solely for humanitarian or protective use; and related technical assistance and training.


The Council further decided that each government in the region, particularly those of States bordering Ituri and the Kivus, as well as that of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, would maintain a registry of review by the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1533 (2004) and the Group of Experts of all information concerning flights originating in their respective territories en route to Congolese destinations, as well as flights from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to destinations in their own territories.


Requesting MONUC and the Group of Experts to continue to focus their monitoring activities in North and South Kivu and in Ituri District, the Council decided that during the period of enforcement of the measures referred to in paragraph 1 of the text, the Congolese Government, on the one hand, and those of States bordering Ituri and the Kivus, on the other, would take the necessary measures to strengthen, as far as each was concerned, customs controls on the borders between Ituri and the Kivus and the neighbouring States; and to ensure that all means of transport on their respective territories would not be used in violation of the measures taken by Member States in accordance with paragraph 1.


The Council demanded that all parties and States cooperate fully with the work of the Group of Experts and of MONUC, and that they ensure the safety of their members; and their unhindered and immediate access, in particular, by supplying them with any information on possible violations.


In addition, the Council decided that, no later than 31 July, it would review the measures imposed, in the light of progress accomplished in the peace and transition process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in particular, with regard to the integration of the Armed Forces and of the National Police.


The meeting began at 12:11 p.m. and ended at 12:15 p.m.


Resolution


The full text of resolution 1596 (2005) reads, as follows:


The Security Council,


Recalling its resolutions concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in particular resolutions 1493 of 28 July 2003, 1533 of 12 March 2004, 1552 of 27 July 2004, 1565 of 1 October 2004 and 1592 of 30 March 2005, and recalling also the statements by its President concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in particular on 7 December 2004,


Reiterating its serious concern regarding the presence of armed groups and militias in the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, particularly in the provinces of North and South Kivu and in the Ituri district, which perpetuate a climate of insecurity in the whole region,


Welcoming the fact that some of these groups and militias have started to submit an inventory of arms and related materiel in their possession, as well as their location, with a view to their participation in the programmes of disarmament, and encouraging those who have not yet done so rapidly to do so,


Expressing its readiness to review the provisions of its resolutions 918 of 17 May 1994, 997 of 9 June 1995 and 1011 of 16 August 1995 in a broader perspective, taking into account the implications of continued instability in the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo for peace and security in the Great Lakes Region of Africa,


Condemning the continuing illicit flow of weapons within and into the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and declaring its determination to continue closely monitoring implementation of the arms embargo imposed by resolution 1493 of 28 July 2003,


Recalling the importance for the Government of National Unity and Transition to implement without delay the integration for which it bears responsibility of the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, by continuing to work within the framework of the Joint Commission on Security Sector Reform, and encouraging the donor community to provide coordinated financial and technical assistance for this task,


Commending the efforts made by the Secretary-General, the African Union and other actors concerned to restore peace and security in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and welcoming in this regard the Declaration adopted in Dar es Salaam on 20 November 2004 at the conclusion of the first summit of the International Conference on Peace, Security, Democracy and Development in the Great Lakes Region of Africa,


Taking note of the reports of the Group of Experts established by paragraph 10 of resolution 1533, dated 15 July 2004 (S/2004/551) and 25 January 2005 (S/2005/30), transmitted by the Committee established in accordance with paragraph 8 of that resolution (hereafter the Committee), and of their recommendations,


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.   Reaffirms the measures established by paragraph 20 of resolution 1493, dated 28 July 2003, and extended until 31 July 2005 by resolution 1552, dated 27 July 2004, decides that these measures shall from now on apply to any recipient in the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and reiterates that assistance includes financing and financial assistance related to military activities;


“2.   Decides that the measures above shall not apply to:


(a)   Supplies of arms and related materiel or technical training and assistance intended solely for support of or use by units of the army and police of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, provided that the said units:


-have completed the process of their integration, or


–operate under the command, respectively, of the état-major intégré of the Armed Forces or of the National Police of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or


–are in the process of their integration, in the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo outside the provinces of North and South Kivu and the Ituri district,


(b)   Supplies of arms and related materiel as well as technical training and assistance intended solely for support of or use by the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC),


(c)   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 Committee in accordance with paragraph 8 (e) of resolution 1533;


“3.   Requests MONUC, within its existing capabilities and without prejudice to the performance of its current mandate, and the Group of Experts referred to in paragraph 21 below to continue to focus their monitoring activities in North and South Kivu and in Ituri;


“4.   Decides that all future authorized shipments of arms and related materiel consistent with such exemptions noted in paragraph 2 (a) above shall only be made to receiving sites as designated by the Government of National Unity and Transition, in coordination with MONUC, and notified in advance to the Committee;


“5.   Demands that all parties other than those referred to in paragraph 2 (a) above with military capabilities in Ituri, in North Kivu or in South Kivu, help the Government of National Unity and Transition implement its commitments regarding disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of foreign and Congolese combatants, and regarding security sector reform;


“6.   Decides that, during the period of enforcement of the measures referred to in paragraph 1 above, all governments in the region, and in particular those of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and of States bordering Ituri and the Kivus, shall take the necessary measures:


–To ensure that aircraft operate in the region in accordance with the Convention on International Civil Aviation, signed in Chicago on 7 December 1944, in particular by verifying the validity of documents carried in aircraft and the licences of pilots,


–To prohibit immediately in their respective territories operation of any aircraft inconsistent with the conditions in that Convention or the standards established by the International Civil Aviation Organization, in particular with respect to the use of falsified or out-of-date documents, and to notify the Committee, and to maintain such prohibition until the Committee is informed by States or by the Group of Experts that these aircraft meet the said conditions and standards set forth in Chapter V of the Chicago Convention and determines that they will not be used for a purpose inconsistent with the resolutions of the Security Council,


–To ensure that all civilian and military airports or airfields on their respective territories will not be used for a purpose inconsistent with the measures imposed by paragraph 1 above;


“7.   Further decides that each government in the region, in particular those of States bordering Ituri and the Kivus, as well as that of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, shall maintain a registry for review by the Committee and the Group of Experts of all information concerning flights originating in their respective territories en route to destinations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as flights originating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo en route to destinations in their respective territories;


“8.   Calls upon the Government of National Unity and Transition to strengthen the monitoring of the activity of all airports and airfields, in particular those located in Ituri and in the Kivus, to ensure in particular that only customs airports are used for international air service, and requests MONUC, in airports and airfields where it has a permanent presence, to cooperate within its existing capability with the competent Congolese authorities, with a view to enhancing the capability of those authorities to monitor and control the use of airports;


“9.   Recommends in this context to States in the region, and in particular to those parties to the Declaration adopted in Dar es Salaam on 20 November 2004, to promote regional cooperation in the field of air traffic control;


“10.  Decides that, during the period of enforcement of the measures referred to in paragraph 1 above, the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the one hand, and those of States bordering Ituri and the Kivus on the other hand, shall take the necessary measures:


–To strengthen, as far as each of them is concerned, customs controls on the borders between Ituri or the Kivus and the neighbouring States,


–To ensure that all means of transport on their respective territories will not be used in violation of the measures taken by Member States in accordance with paragraph 1 above, and notify MONUC of such actions,


and requests MONUC and the United Nations Operation in Burundi (ONUB), in accordance with their respective mandates, to provide assistance to this end, where they have a permanent presence, to the competent customs authorities of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and of Burundi;


“11.  Reiterates its call upon the international community, in particular the specialized international organizations concerned, notably the International Civil Aviation Organization and the World Customs Organization, to provide financial and technical assistance to the Government of National Unity and Transition with a view to helping it exercise effective control over its borders and its airspace, and invites in this regard the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to provide assistance with a view to evaluating and improving the performance and enhancing the capacity of the Customs of the Democratic Republic of the Congo;


“12.  Urges all States to conduct inquiries into the activities of their nationals who operate or are associated with the operation of aircraft or other means of transport such as those referred to in paragraphs 6 and 10 above used for the transfer of arms or related materiel in violation of the measures imposed by paragraph 1 above, and if necessary to institute the appropriate legal proceedings against them;


“13.  Decides that, during the period of enforcement of the measures referred to in paragraph 1 above, all States shall take the necessary measures to prevent the entry into or transit through their territories of all persons designated by the Committee as acting in violation of the measures taken by Member States in accordance with paragraph 1 above, provided that nothing in this paragraph shall oblige a State to refuse entry into its territory to its own nationals;


“14.  Decides that the measures imposed by the previous paragraph shall not apply where the Committee determines in advance and on a case-by-case basis that such travel is justified on the grounds of humanitarian need, including religious obligation, or where the Committee concludes that an exemption would further the objectives of the Council’s resolutions, that is peace and national reconciliation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and stability in the region;


“15.  Decides that all States shall, during the period of enforcement of the measures referred to in paragraph 1 above, immediately freeze the funds, other financial assets and economic resources which are on their territories from the date of adoption of this resolution, which are owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by persons designated by the Committee pursuant to paragraph 13 above, or that are held by entities or controlled, directly or indirectly, by any persons acting on their behalf or at their direction, as designated by the Committee, and decides further that all States shall ensure that no funds, financial assets or economic resources are made available by their nationals or by any persons within their territories, to or for the benefit of such persons or entities;


“16.  Decides that the provisions of the previous paragraph do not apply to funds, other financial assets and economic resources that:


(a)   have been determined by relevant States to be necessary for basic expenses, including payment for foodstuffs, rent or mortgage, medicines and medical treatment, taxes, insurance premiums, and public utility charges, or for payment of reasonable professional fees and reimbursement of incurred expenses associated with the provision of legal services, or fees or service charges, in accordance with national laws, for routine holding or maintenance of frozen funds, other financial assets and economic resources, after notification by the relevant States to the Committee of the intention to authorize, where appropriate, access to such funds, other financial assets and economic resources and in the absence of a negative decision by the Committee within four working days of such notification,


(b)   have been determined by relevant States to be necessary for extraordinary expenses, provided that such determination has been notified by the relevant States to the Committee and has been approved by the Committee, or


(c)   have been determined by relevant States to be the subject of a judicial, administrative or arbitration lien or judgement, in which case the funds, other financial assets and economic resources may be used to satisfy that lien or judgement provided that the lien or judgement was entered prior to the date of the present resolution, is not for the benefit of a person or entity designated by the Committee pursuant to paragraph 15 above, and has been notified by the relevant States to the Committee;


“17.  Decides that, no later than 31 July 2005, it shall review the measures set forth in paragraphs 1, 6, 10, 13 and 15 above, in the light of progress accomplished in the peace and transition process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in particular with regard to the integration of the Armed Forces and of the National Police;


“18.  Decides that the Committee shall undertake, in addition to the tasks listed in paragraph 8 of resolution 1533, those hereafter:


(a)   to designate persons and entities with respect to the measures set forth in paragraphs 6, 10, 13 and 15 above, including aircraft and airlines, and regularly to update its list,


(b)   to seek from all States concerned, and particularly those in the region, information regarding the actions taken by them to enforce the measures imposed by paragraphs 1, 6, 10, 13 and 15 above, and any further information it may consider useful, including by providing all States with an opportunity to send representatives to meet the Committee to discuss in more detail any relevant issues,


(c)   to call upon all States concerned, and particularly those in the region, to provide the Committee with information regarding the actions taken by them to investigate and prosecute as appropriate individuals designated by the Committee pursuant to subparagraph (a) above,


(d)   to consider and decide on requests for the exemptions set out in paragraphs 14 and 16 above,


(e)   to promulgate guidelines as may be necessary to facilitate the implementation of paragraphs 6, 10, 13 and 15 above;


“19.  Demands that all parties and all States cooperate fully with the work of the Group of Experts referred to in paragraph 21 below and of MONUC, and that they ensure:


–the safety of their members,


–unhindered and immediate access for the members of the Group of Experts, in particular by supplying them with any information on possible violations of the measures taken by Member States in accordance with paragraphs 1, 6, 10, 13 and 15 above, and by facilitating access of the Group of Experts to persons, documents and sites it deems relevant to the execution of its mandate;


“20.  Requests all States concerned, in particular those in the region, to report to the Committee, within forty-five days from the date of adoption of this resolution, on the actions they have taken to implement the measures imposed by paragraphs 6, 10, 13 and 15 above, and authorizes the Committee thereafter to request from all Member States any information it may consider necessary to fulfil its mandate;


“21.  Requests the Secretary-General, in consultation with the Committee, to re-establish, within thirty days from the date of adoption of this resolution, and for a period expiring on 31 July 2005, the Group of Experts referred to in paragraph 10 of resolution 1533 with the addition of a fifth expert for financial issues, and requests further that the Secretary-General provide the Group of Experts with the necessary resources to fulfil its mandate;


“22.  Requests the Group of Experts above to report to the Council in writing before 1 July 2005, through the Committee, including on the implementation of the measures set forth in paragraphs 1, 6, 10, 13 and 15 above;


“23.  Decides to remain seized of the matter.”


Background


Before the Security Council was a letter dated 25 January from the Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1533 (2004) concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo and addressed to the President of the Security Council, transmitting the report of the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (document S/2005/30). 


Pursuant to Council resolution 1493 (2003) of 28 July 2003, an arms embargo was imposed, for an initial period of 12 months, by which all States, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, were requested to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer of arms and any related material 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 provinces of North and South Kivu and in the Ituri District and to groups not party to the Global and All-Inclusive Agreement on the Transition in the country.


In its resolution 1552 (2004), the Council renewed the arms embargo until 31 July 2005 in view of the failure by the parties to comply with the provisions of resolution 1493 (2003), and renewed, for a period expiring on 31 January 2005, the mandate of the Group of Experts tasked with monitoring the embargo.


The mandate of the Group of Experts is, among other things, to examine and analyse information gathered by the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) in the context of its monitoring mandate; to gather and analyse all relevant information in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, countries of the region and, as necessary, in other countries, on flows of arms and related materiel, as well as networks operating in violation of the embargo; to recommend ways of improving the capabilities of States interested to ensure that the embargo is effectively implemented; and to provide the Committee with a list of those found to have violated it.


Among the Group’s recommendations is that the target of the embargo, as defined in Council resolution 1493 (2003), be revisited with a view to clarifying the terms and exemptions of the embargo.  It also recommends that the État-major be instituted as the sole procuring and authorizing agent on behalf of the Transitional Government and integrated army for military hardware and other forms of military equipment.  Furthermore, to enhance the effectiveness of the monitoring mechanism and embargo enforcement, the Council should extend the arms embargo to the entire territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with the exception of the État-major and MONUC and for supplies of non-lethal material and training for humanitarian or protective use.


The Group recommends further monitoring until the end of the arms embargo on the Democratic Republic of the Congo so that investigations in countries both in the region and further afield can be consolidated, and information on violators can be updated with a view to revising the list as appropriate.  The monitoring mechanism would benefit from additional resources and support.  Also, in order to further coordinate the activities of MONUC and the Group, as well as the flow of information between them, the Group recommends that a Group liaison officer be integrated into the MONUC Joint Mission Analysis Cell at MONUC headquarters in Kinshasa for the duration of any future mandate.


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