|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Security Council press statement on Democratic Republic of Congo
The following Security Council statement on the Democratic Republic of the Congo was delivered today by the Council President Jean-Maurice Ripert ( France):
After hearing the Department of Peacekeeping Operations on 7 September, the members of the Security Council received a briefing today from the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Sir John Holmes, which was mainly focused on the situation in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The members of the Security Council express their deep concern at the recent clashes in North Kivu between the renegade elements loyal to Laurent Nkunda and the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC), as well as the continuing activities of the Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda (FDLR) and other illegal armed groups. Council members are particularly disturbed by the continuing violence and atrocities against civilians that have resulted in massive displacement of the population.
The members of the Security Council urge all parties to comply with international humanitarian law and to facilitate access for humanitarian operators to the persons affected by the conflict. They express their support for the action of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), in particular its action to protect civilians, which has led to a cessation of hostilities. The members of the Security Council urge all parties to respect the ceasefire and to initiate a dialogue.
The members of the Security Council stress the need to ensure that all illegal armed groups that are still present in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo do not receive any support, and demand that their combatants and leaders lay down their arms without any further delay. The members of the Security Council emphasize that the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the only legitimate and sovereign authority throughout the territory of the country. They also recall that the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is responsible for dealing with the presence of the FDLR on its territory, which remains one of the principal causes of continued instability in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The members of the Security Council call also on the Congolese authorities to intensify their efforts to address impunity, with the appropriate international support, taking into account in particular the widespread sexual violence and abuse against women and children in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The members of the Security Council urge the Congolese authorities to redouble their efforts to seek a comprehensive political solution to address and resolve the root causes of the current tensions in the Kivus, in particular by convening the proposed round table. They welcome the joint declaration issued by the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda on 3 September, and call on both Governments to rapidly implement the agreed measures.
Finally, the members of the Security Council note the United Nations Humanitarian Action Plan for the Democratic Republic of the Congo is currently under-funded, and call on donors not to reduce their effort to support the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
* *** *For information media • not an official record