14 November 2013
Security Council
SC/11174

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

Security Council

7058th Meeting (AM)


Security Council Issues Statement Welcoming End of Hostilities

 

by ‘M23’ in Democratic Republic of Congo

 


All Stakeholders Urged to Swiftly Conclude, Implement Final Comprehensive Outcome


Condemning the 19-month M23 insurgency in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Security Council issued a presidential statement today, welcoming the armed group’s announcement of an end to its rebellion, the Government’s acceptance of that announcement and the cessation of hostilities.


In a statement read out by Liu Jieyi ( China), its President for November, the Council called for the swift conclusion and implementation of a final, comprehensive and agreed outcome, in line with the Kampala talks, which provided for the disarmament and demobilization of the M23, as well as accountability on the part of human rights abusers.  Commending the efforts of Uganda’s President and Defence Minister in facilitating the conclusion of the talks, the Council called for the immediate and permanent disarmament and demobilization of the M23 combatants, with the assistance of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), in accordance with resolution 2098 (2013).


The Council also welcomed the initial steps taken by MONUSCO in its support and lead coordination role of Security Sector Reform and urged the continuation of those efforts.  It also acknowledged the commitment of all troop-contributing countries to implementing the full range of the Mission’s responsibilities.


Recognizing the significant sacrifices made by MONUSCO and the troop-contributing countries and appreciating their efforts, the Council emphasized that any effort to undermine MONUSCO’s ability to implement its mandate would not be tolerated and that those responsible for threats to attacks against peacekeepers must be held accountable.


The Council also expressed deep concern regarding the sustained regional threat posed by the Forces Democratiques de Liberation du Rwanda and stressed the importance of permanently neutralizing all armed groups.  Reiterating its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as of all countries in the region, the Council stressed the primary responsibility of the Congolese Government for security, protection of civilians, national reconciliation, peacebuilding and development.


As well, the Council called on the Government to remain fully commitment to establishing a professional, accountable and sustainable national army.  It also took note of the statements of the country’s President on army reform, pursuit of the electoral process and ending the cycle of impunity.  The Council urged the Government to finalize the development of comprehensive disarmament, demobilization and reintegration and demobilization, repatriation, reintegration and resettlement plans.  It further called on the Government to consolidate State authority, make progress on decentralization and rule of law, and advance the agenda of reconciliation, tolerance, and democratization in line with the African Union’s Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework and Council resolution 2098 (2013).


Expressing grave concern about the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the statement called upon all parties to allow safe and unhindered access for the timely and full delivery of humanitarian aid to all civilians in urgent need of assistance.  It also called upon all States in the region to work towards a peaceful environment conducive to the eventual voluntary return and reintegration of refugees to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


Noting with concern the regional security implications of the conflict in the eastern part of the country and supporting regional confidence-building measures, the Council called for the completion of the Expanded Joint Verification Mechanism investigations on cross-border incidents.  It encouraged the United Nations, the African Union, and other relevant international and regional organizations to work together with the sustained engagement and support of the international community towards the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework and the establishment of a broader dialogue among key parties that addressed the deeper drivers of conflict.


The meeting began at 10:05 a.m. and ended at 10:10 a.m.


Presidential Statement


The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2013/17 reads as follows:


“After 19 months of a rebellion which has exacerbated the humanitarian strife in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Security Council welcomes the announcement by the M23 to put an end to its rebellion, the Government of DRC’s acceptance of this announcement and the cessation of hostilities between the DRC and the M23.  The Security Council condemns the violence caused by this rebellion, which has resulted in a significant loss of civilian life, as well as of MONUSCO peacekeepers’ lives, and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of civilians. 


“The Security Council calls for the swift conclusion and implementation of a final, comprehensive and agreed outcome, in line with the Kampala talks, that provides for the disarmament and demobilization of the M23 and accountability for human rights abusers.  The Council commends the efforts of President Museveni and Defence Minister Kiyonga in facilitating the conclusion of these talks.  The Security Council calls for the immediate and permanent disarmament and demobilization of the M23 combatants, with the assistance of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), in accordance with resolution 2098 (2013).


“The Security Council reaffirms its strongest support to the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) and MONUSCO in the implementation of resolution 2098 (2013) and urges the continuation of their efforts.  The Security Council welcomes the measures taken by the Special Envoy of the Secretary General, the SRSG and MONUSCO in support of a political solution, in line with a comprehensive strategy for durable peace and security, and commends the active steps taken by MONUSCO to implement fully its mandate, in particular the protection of civilians.  The Security Council welcomes the initial steps taken by MONUSCO in its support and lead coordination role of Security Sector Reform (SSR) in the DRC and urges the continuation of these efforts. The Security Council acknowledges the commitment of all troop contributing countries to MONUSCO to implementing the full range of the mission’s responsibilities in line with resolution 2098 (2013).


“The Security Council recognizes the significant sacrifices made by MONUSCO and the troop contributing countries and expresses appreciation for their efforts to improve peace and stability in eastern DRC.  The Security Council expresses condolences to the families of the peacekeepers killed in action while protecting the people of eastern DRC.  The Security Council emphasizes that any effort to undermine MONUSCO’s ability to implement its mandate will not be tolerated and that those responsible for threats or attacks against peacekeepers must be held accountable. 


“The Security Council expresses deep concern regarding the sustained regional threat posed by the Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda (FDLR), a group under UN sanctions whose leaders and members include perpetrators of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and have continued to promote and commit ethnically-based and other killings in Rwanda and the DRC, and stresses the importance of permanently addressing this threat.  The Security Council stresses the importance of neutralizing the FDLR and all armed groups, including the ADF, the LRA and various Mayi Mayi groups, in line with resolution 2098 (2013).


“The Security Council reiterates its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the DRC as well as of all countries of the region.  The Security Council stresses that the Government of DRC bears primary responsibility for security, protection of civilians, national reconciliation, peacebuilding and development in the country.  It underlines that the recent achievements of the FARDC in defeating M23 on the ground must encourage the Government of DRC to sustain efforts to neutralize FDLR and other armed groups.  In that regard, the Security Council further welcomes DRC President Joseph Kabila’s public reaffirmation on October 30 that his Government intends to neutralize the FDLR and stresses the importance of rapid follow-through.


“The Security Council further welcomes the November 4 statement by SRSG Kobler noting MONUSCO’s intention not to allow FDLR and other armed groups to take advantage of the changing security dynamics on the ground and its commitment to act decisively on all attempts to exploit the situation.


“The Security Council strongly condemns the continuing violence and abuses of human rights by all armed groups, including summary executions, sexual and gender based violence and large scale recruitment and use of children, demands that all armed groups cease immediately all forms of violence and destabilizing activities and that their members immediately and permanently disband, lay down their arms and demobilize children from their ranks, and reiterates that those responsible for human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law will be held accountable and should not be eligible for integration into the FARDC or other elements of State security forces.


“The Security Council calls upon the Government of DRC to remain fully committed to establishing a professional, accountable and sustainable national army, including a Rapid Reaction Force, in accordance with its commitment to deepen SSR.  The Security Council takes note of the statement of the President of the DRC, Joseph Kabila, of 23 October 2013 in which he indicated that army reform will constitute his top priority, and announced the pursuit of the electoral process, and his commitment to ensure that the DRC judicial system will effectively address the cycle of impunity.  The Security Council urges the Government of the DRC to finalize the development of a comprehensive disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) and demobilization, repatriation, reintegration and resettlement (DDRRR) plan.  The Security Council calls on the Government of DRC to consolidate State authority, make progress on decentralization, rule of law, and further the agenda of reconciliation, tolerance, and democratisation, in line with the PSC framework and resolution 2098 (2013).


“The Security Council recalls that there should be no impunity for any of those responsible for human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law in the DRC and the region, and, in this regard, urges the DRC, all countries of the region and other concerned UN Member States to bring perpetrators to justice.


“The Security Council recalls its resolutions on women, peace and security, and reiterates that all actors must strengthen their efforts to combat impunity for conflict-related sexual violence, to provide all necessary services to survivors, and to ensure the equal and full inclusion of women at all stages of conflict resolution, reconstruction and the promotion of peace including through taking account of the call of the 11 July 2013 Bujumbura Declaration for ensuring that benchmarks, indicators and follow-up measures of the plan of implementation for the PSC Framework are gender-sensitive.  The Security Council urges the Government of DRC to expedite the investigation of the November 2012 mass rapes committed by elements of the FARDC in Minova and bring the perpetrators to justice.


“The Security Council recalls its resolutions and presidential statements on children and armed conflict and reiterates that all parties in the DRC must halt and prevent the recruitment and use of children, protect and consider as victims those children who have been released or otherwise separated from armed forces and armed groups, and pay particular attention to the protection, release and reintegration of all children associated with armed forces and groups.  The Security Council urges the Government of the DRC to continue implementing the action plan to prevent and end the recruitment and use of children and sexual violence against children signed on 4 October 2012.


“The Security Council expresses grave concern about the ongoing humanitarian crisis, including the 2.7 million internally displaced people and the 6.4 million people in need of food assistance and emergency agricultural aid, and calls upon all parties to allow safe and unhindered access for the timely and full delivery of humanitarian aid to all civilians in urgent need of assistance, in accordance with relevant provisions on international law, including international humanitarian law and the United Nations guiding principles of humanitarian assistance.  The Security Council further expresses concern with the over 450,000 refugees who have fled from the DRC and calls upon the DRC and all States in the region to work towards the peaceful environment conducive to the eventual voluntary return and reintegration of refugees to the DRC, with the support, as appropriate, of the UNHCR.  The Security Council commends in this regard the support provided by neighbouring countries to refugees from the DRC.  The Security Council encourages the Rwandan Government, United Nations and international organizations to work together to urgently address the situation of former M23 combatants interned in Eastern Rwanda since March 2013.


“The Security Council notes with concern the regional security implications of the conflict in eastern DRC and supports in this regard regional confidence-building measures, including the Expanded Joint Verification Mechanism (EJVM), and further calls for the completion of its investigations on cross-border incidents.  The Security Council welcomes the decision of the ICGLR to grant permanent representation of MONUSCO in the EJVM.  The Security Council expresses concern at shells landing in Rwanda, which resulted in civilian loss of life, urges the swift conclusion of the EJVM investigations into this cross-border shelling, commends the restraint shown so far by Rwanda and urges its continuation.  The Security Council further urges restraint by all other parties.


“The Security Council stresses the need to address sustainably the root causes of the conflict in eastern DRC and reiterates its support for the implementation of the commitments under the Peace, Security and Cooperation (PSC) Framework for the Democratic Republic of Congo and the region, which is essential to achieving lasting peace and security in the Great Lakes region.  The Security Council calls upon all signatories to fulfil promptly, fully and in good faith their respective commitments under the PSC Framework.  The Security Council welcomes the November 4 joint Summit of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and the Southern-African Development Community (SADC) in Pretoria.  The Security Council commends the engagement of Special Envoy Mary Robinson and encourages her, in coordination with and with appropriate support from the SRSG for the DRC, to continue to lead, coordinate and assess the implementation of national and regional commitments under the PSC Framework. 


“The Security Council encourages the United Nations, the African Union, the ICGLR, SADC and other relevant international and regional organizations to continue to work together, with the sustained engagement and support of the international community, towards the implementation of the PSC Framework, and the establishment of a broader dialogue among key parties that addresses the deeper drivers of conflict in eastern Congo.”


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For information media • not an official record