25/01/2006
Security Council
SC/8620

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

5356th Meeting* (PM)


Security Council condemns attack on un peacekeepers

 

in Democratic Republic of Congo

 


In Presidential Statement, Council Calls Killing

Of Eight Guatemalan Soldiers on 23 January ‘An Unacceptable Outrage’


Calling Monday’s attack against a detachment of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) an “unacceptable outrage”, the Security Council today condemned the aggression, which killed eight Guatemalan peacekeepers and severely wounded five others.


The Council offered its condolences to the victims’ families and the Guatemalan authorities in a statement (document S/PRST/2006/4) read by its President for the month, Augustine P. Mahiga (United Republic of Tanzania), and commended the dedication of MONUC personnel, who operated in particularly hazardous conditions.


According to the statement, the peacekeepers were involved in an operation against suspected elements of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) reportedly present in Garamba Park.  The LRA had conducted a long-running and vicious insurgency in northern Uganda, causing the death, abduction and displacement of thousands of innocent civilians in Uganda, the Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it said.


The Council called on the Government of National Unity and Transition of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to immediately take all necessary measures to bring to justice those responsible for Monday’s attack.  And, it called on States in the region to deepen their cooperation in ending the activities of illegal armed groups, reaffirming that any recourse to the threat or use of force against a State’s territorial integrity was contrary to the United Nations Charter.


It also condemned with the utmost firmness the recent seizure of villages in the area of Rutshuru, province of North Kivu by insurgent elements.  In that context, it expressed its concern at reported atrocities and human rights abuses.


The Council considered all such actions to be a threat to the peace process and to the transition, and demanded that they cease immediately.  It stressed the need for unreserved commitment to the integration process of the armed forces, in the spirit of the Global and All-Inclusive Agreement.


The meeting, which began at 12:10 p.m., was adjourned at 12:16 p.m.


Presidential Statement


The complete text of presidential statement S/PRST/2006/4 reads as follows:


“The Security Council condemns with the utmost firmness the attack against a detachment of the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), which occurred on 23 January 2006 in the national park of Garamba, resulting in the death of eight Guatemalan peacekeepers and the severe wounding of five others.  It offers its condolences to the victims’ families and to the authorities of Guatemala.  It commends the dedication of MONUC’s personnel, who operate in particularly hazardous conditions.


“The Security Council considers this aggression to be an unacceptable outrage.  The peacekeepers were involved in an operation against suspected elements of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) reported to be present in the park of Garamba.  The LRA have conducted a long-running and vicious insurgency in northern Uganda which has caused the death, abduction and displacement of thousands of innocent civilians in Uganda, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  The Council calls upon the Government of National Unity and Transition immediately to take all necessary measures to bring to justice those responsible for this attack.


“The Security Council also condemns with the utmost firmness the recent seizure of villages in the area of Rutshuru, province of North Kivu, by insurgent elements.  It expresses its concern at atrocities and human right abuses which have been reported in this context.  It considers all such actions to constitute a serious threat to the peace process and to the transition, and demands that these cease immediately.  It stresses the need for unreserved commitment to the integration process of the armed forces, in the spirit of the Global and All-Inclusive Agreement.


“The Security Council further underlines the importance of the electoral process not being disturbed and encourages in this regard ongoing efforts for community reconciliation.  It also stresses in this context the importance of early adoption of the electoral law under discussion in the Parliament, and of respect for the timetable drawn up by the Independent Electoral Commission.


“The Security Council reaffirms its commitment to, and respect for, the national sovereignty, political independence, territorial integrity and unity of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  It expresses its solidarity with the Congolese people and its support to the Government of National Unity and Transition.  It calls for the prompt extension of State authority throughout the Congolese territory.


“The Security Council reiterates its call upon States in the region to deepen their cooperation with a view to putting an end to the activities of illegal armed groups, and reaffirms that any recourse to the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity of a State is contrary to the Charter of the United Nations.


“The Security Council reaffirms its full support for MONUC, and urges MONUC to continue to fulfil its mandate with determination.”


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*     The 5355th Meeting was closed.


For information media • not an official record