25 April 2006
Security Council
SC/8698

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

Security Council

5421st Meeting* (PM)


SECURITY COUNCIL AUTHORIZES DEPLOYMENT OF EUROPEAN UNION FORCE TO SUPPORT


UNITED NATIONS MISSION DURING DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO ELECTIONS


Resolution 1671 (2006) Adopted Unanimously


Acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter this afternoon, the Security Council authorized, for a period ending four months after the date of the first round of upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections, the deployment of a European Unionreserve force in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


Unanimously adopting resolution 1671 (2006), the Council decided that the authorization for the deployment would not exceed the term of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) mandate and would be subject, beyond 30 September 2006, to the extension of its own mandate.


The Council decided also that the reserve force, to be known as Eufor R.D.Congo, was authorized to take all necessary measures to support MONUC in case the Mission faced serious difficulties in fulfilling its mandate; contribute to the protection of civilians under imminent threat of physical violence, without prejudice to the responsibility of the Congolese Government; contribute to airport protection in Kinshasa; ensure the security and free movement of Eufor R.D Congo personnel and the protection of its installations; and execute limited operations to extract individuals in danger.


Stressing that Eufor R.D.Congo was authorized immediately to take all appropriate steps, including the deployment of advance elements in order to prepare its full operational capability, the Council noted that decisions to engage it in its assigned tasks would be taken by the European Union, upon a request by the Secretary-General or, in emergency cases, in close consultation with MONUC.


The Council decided that the measures imposed by paragraph 20 of resolution 1493 (2003) and paragraph 1 of resolution 1596 (2005) would not apply to arms and related material, or to technical training and assistance intended solely for the support of or use by Eufor R.D.Congo.  It noted also that Eufor R.D.Congo would comprise advance elements concentrated in Kinshasa and other elements held outside the Democratic Republic of the Congo with the appropriate capacity.


Also by the text, the Council urged the Congolese Government and the European Union to conclude a status-of-forces agreement before the deployment of advance elements of Eufor R.D.Congo, and decided that, until such an agreement was concluded, the terms of the status-of-forces agreement for MONUC, dated 4 May 2000, would apply between the European Union and the Government, including possible third-country contributors.


The Council requested neighbouring Member States to provide all necessary support to facilitate the swift deployment of Eufor R.D.Congo, and particularly to ensure the free, unhindered and expeditious movement to the Democratic Republic of the Congo of its personnel, equipment, provisions, supplies and other goods, including vehicles and spare parts for exclusive use by of the reserve force.


Authorizing MONUC to provide all necessary logistical support to Eufor R.D.Congo on a cost reimbursement basis, the Council called upon all Congolese parties to demonstrate their full commitment to a democratic process, by ensuring that the upcoming presidential and legislative elections were free, fair, peaceful and transparent.  It also called upon the Government to ensure that the presidential and parliamentary elections were held in accordance with the timetable of the Independent Electoral Commission.


Jean-Marc de la Sablière (France), speaking in explanation of vote, said his delegation welcomed the adoption of the resolution, which testified to the international community’s commitment in favour of the peace process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  The European Union reserve force would be an important element for the smooth functioning of the elections in June.  It would not be necessary to adopt another resolution to extend its mandate when the Council expressed its views on extending the mandate of MONIUC on 30 September.


The meeting began at 1:10 p.m. and ended at 1:15 p.m.


Resolution


The full text of Security Council resolution 1671 (2006) reads as follows:


The Security Council,


Recalling its previous resolutions and statements by its President on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in particular resolutions 1565 of 1 October 2004, 1592 of 30 March 2005, 1621 of 6 September 2005 and 1635 of 28 October 2005, and the statement of its President dated 21 December 2005 (S/PRST/2005/66),


Commending the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the successful holding of a referendum on the draft Constitution that entered into force on 18 February 2006,


Underlining the importance of elections as the foundation for the longer term restoration of peace and stability, national reconciliation and establishment of the rule of law in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,


Commending the efforts of the Independent Electoral Commission to prepare the holding of the elections and expressing its appreciation for the unprecedented and outstanding logistical support provided to the Commission by the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC),


Stressing the primary responsibility of the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo for ensuring security during the period encompassing the elections,


Commending the donor community, in particular the European Union, for the assistance it is providing to the electoral process and in the interest of a successful outcome to the transition in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and encouraging it to continue its support,


Welcoming the additional assistance that the European Union is providing in the context of the forthcoming elections by temporarily reinforcing its police mission EUPOL Kinshasa to support the coordination of relevant units of the police forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo,


Taking note of the request expressed in the letter dated 27 December 2005 from the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations to the Presidency of the European Union (S/2006/219, annex I),


Taking note of the response to this letter by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Austria dated 28 March 2006, on behalf of the Council of the European Union (S/2006/219, annex II),


Welcoming the intention of the European Union to deploy a force to support MONUC during the electoral period in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as expressed in the above letter of 28 March, which stated inter alia that this force would not substitute for MONUC or the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in their tasks, and which noted the assessment that the capabilities of MONUC in certain parts of the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo should enable it to address possible difficulties without support from the European Union,


Considering that the current mandate of MONUC will be subject to renewal by 30 September 2006 and expressing its intention to extend it for a further period beyond this date,


Determining 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.   Takes note of the letter addressed by the Permanent Representative of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the President of the Security Council dated 30 March 2006 (S/2006/203) and of the support of the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo for the temporary deployment of a European Union force (“Eufor R.D.Congo”) to support MONUC during the period encompassing the elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo;


“2.   Authorizes, for a period ending four months after the date of the first round of the presidential and parliamentary elections, the deployment of Eufor R.D.Congo in the Democratic Republic of the Congo;


“3.   Notes that Eufor R.D.Congo will comprise advance elements concentrated in Kinshasa and other elements held outside the Democratic Republic of the Congo (an “over the horizon” force) with the appropriate capacity;


“4.   Decides that the authorization for the deployment mentioned in paragraph 2 above shall not exceed the term of MONUC’s mandate and will be subject, beyond 30 September 2006, to the extension of MONUC’s mandate;


“5.   Requests the Secretary-General to inform the Security Council of the decision to be taken by the Congolese authorities on the definitive timetable for the holding of the elections;


“6.   Stresses that Eufor R.D.Congo is authorized immediately to take all appropriate steps, including the deployment of advance elements in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in order to prepare its full operational capability;


“7.   Invitesthe European Union to take all appropriate steps with a view to the well-coordinated disengagement of its force following the completion of its mandate;


“8.   Decides that Eufor R.D.Congo is authorized to take all necessary measures, within its means and capabilities, to carry out the following tasks, in accordance with the agreement to be reached between the European Union and the United Nations:


(a)   to support MONUC to stabilize a situation, in case MONUC faces serious difficulties in fulfilling its mandate within its existing capabilities,


(b)   to contribute to the protection of civilians under imminent threat of physical violence in the areas of its deployment, and without prejudice to the responsibility of the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo,


(c)   to contribute to airport protection in Kinshasa,


(d)   to ensure the security and freedom of movement of the personnel as well as the protection of the installations of Eufor R.D.Congo,


(e)   to execute operations of limited character in order to extract individuals in danger,


“9.   Notes that decisions to engage Eufor R.D.Congo on the tasks mentioned in paragraph 8 above will be taken by the European Union upon a request by the Secretary-General, or in emergency cases, in close consultation with MONUC, to fulfil tasks mentioned in subparagraphs 8 (b), (c), (d) and (e);


“10.  Decides that the measures imposed by paragraph 20 of resolution 1493 (2003) and paragraph 1 of resolution 1596 (2005) shall not apply to supplies of arms and related material as well as technical training and assistance intended solely for the support of or the use by Eufor R.D.Congo;


“11.  Requests the European Union and the Secretary-General to ensure a close cooperation during the preparation of the establishment of Eufor R.D.Congo and for the duration of its mandate, and until its full disengagement;


“12.  Urges the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the European Union to conclude a status-of-forces agreement before the deployment of advance elements of Eufor R.D.Congo as referred to in paragraph 6 above, and decides that, until such an agreement is concluded, the terms of the status-of-forces agreement for MONUC dated 4 May 2000 shall apply mutatis mutandis between the European Union and the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in respect of Eufor R.D.Congo, including possible third-country contributors;


“13.  Requests all Member States, in particular those in the vicinity of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to provide all necessary support to facilitate the swift deployment of Eufor R.D.Congo, and in particular to ensure the free, unhindered and expeditious movement to the Democratic Republic of the Congo of its personnel, as well as equipment, provisions, supplies and other goods, including vehicles and spare parts, which are for its exclusive and official use;


“14.  Authorizes MONUC, within the limit of its capacities, to provide all necessary logistical support to Eufor R.D.Congo, on a cost reimbursement basis;


“15.  Requests the European Union to report regularly to the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and to the Security Council on the implementation of Eufor R.D.Congo’s mandate;


“16.  Calls upon all Congolese parties to demonstrate their full commitment to a democratic process by ensuring that the upcoming presidential and legislative elections are free, fair, peaceful and transparent;


“17.  Calls also upon the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to do its utmost to ensure that the presidential and parliamentary elections are held in accordance with the timetable of the Independent Electoral Commission;


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


Background


Before the Council was a letter (document S/2006/219) dated 12 April from the Secretary-General addressed to the Council President, in which he recalls that the referendum on the draft constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo was held on 18 and 19 December 2005 with minimal security problems.  He expresses concern, however, about the possibility of violence occurring before, during or after the upcoming elections, which neither the forces of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), nor the Congolese Armed Forces would have the capacity to contain.


The Secretary-General refers to a letter (annex I of the letter) dated 27 December 2005 from Jean-Marie Guéhenno, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, to the Presidency of the European Union, requesting that regional organization to consider the possibility of making available a force reserve that, if necessary, could be deployed to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to support MONUC during the electoral process.  In response to that letter, the Council of the European Union (see annex II) conveyed its willingness to provide such support, subject to authorization by the Security Council under Chapter VII of the Charter.


Referring also to a letter dated 30 march 2006 from the Permanent Representative of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the Council President (document S/2006/203), the Secretary-General says that the deployment of such a reserve force would be an important contribution to the international community’s efforts to support the Democratic Republic of the Congo in ensuring the success of the elections under secure conditions.


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*     The 5420th Meeting was closed.


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