26 August 2014
Security Council
SC/11533
AFR/2954

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

SECURITY COUNCIL PRESS STATEMENT ON Democratic Republic of Congo, Great Lakes Region


The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Mark Lyall Grant ( United Kingdom):


On 7 August, the members of the Security Council heard briefings by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Head of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), Martin Kobler, the outgoing Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region, Mary Robinson, and the Minister for Defence of Angola, João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço, in his capacity as representative of the Chair of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR).  The members of the Security Council welcomed the nomination of Said Djinnit as Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region.


The members of the Security Council welcomed the progress against armed groups, including the military defeat of the 23 March Movement (M23), the signing of the Nairobi Declarations by the Democratic Republic of the Congo Government and M23, and the significant weakening of the Allied Democratic Forces—National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (ADF-NALU), but regretted that no significant progress was made towards the neutralization of the Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda (FDLR).  They noted the initial efforts made by the Democratic Republic of the Congo Government and the Governments of the region towards fulfilling the commitments made under the Peace Security and Cooperation Framework, including the development of national and regional benchmarks.  The members of the Security Council welcomed the efforts of regional organizations, in particular the role of the ICGLR, including that of President José Eduardo dos Santos as Chair, as subsequently demonstrated by the holding of two Heads of State and Government Mini-Summits in Luanda ( Angola) on 25 March and on 14 August.


The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their support for the swift neutralization of FDLR, as a top priority in bringing stability to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Great Lakes region.  They recalled that leaders and members of FDLR were among the perpetrators of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, during which Hutu and others who opposed the genocide were also killed, and recalled that FDLR is a group under United Nations sanctions, operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and which has continued to promote and commit ethnically based and other killings in Rwanda and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  They expressed deep concern regarding the sustained domestic and regional threat posed by FDLR, including recent reports of continued human rights abuses by members of FDLR and continued recruiting and training of combatants, including children, and stressed the importance of disarming and ending the threat caused by this illegal armed group.


The members of the Security Council took note of ongoing ICGLR and Southern African Development Community (SADC) diplomatic efforts to harmonize views and approaches on the neutralisation and unconditional disarmament of FDLR.  They further took note of the six-month timeframe for the voluntary surrender of FDLR from 2 July and the review of progress after three months, as set out by the joint ICGLR-SADC meeting of Ministers of Defence on 2 July.  They expressed concern about reports by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Democratic Republic of the Congo that FDLR has interpreted this six-month timeframe as a call to stall previously scheduled demobilizations.  They noted that the disarmament process should be concluded swiftly, have a clearly defined end state and be supported by credible military action.  Meanwhile, they encouraged the Democratic Republic of the Congo Government, in coordination with the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), to actively pursue military action against those leaders and members of FDLR who do not engage in the demobilization process or who continue to carry out human rights abuses.  They underlined MONUSCO’s mandate to neutralize all armed groups, in line with resolutions 2098 (2013) and 2147 (2014), and further underlined their support for an effective disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, reintegration and resettlement programme, paying a particular attention to women and children, as part of the demobilization process.


The members of the Security Council took note of the technical missions carried out by the Democratic Republic of the Congo Government-led delegations to Uganda and Rwanda in April and July, respectively, to assess and process amnesty requests for former M23 combatants, in preparation for the repatriation of those eligible for reintegration, and underlined the need to fast-track and conclude their return to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in accordance with an agreed timetable.  In this regard, they encouraged the parties to speed up the implementation of the Kampala Dialogue/Nairobi Declarations in order to ensure the permanent demobilization of M23.


The members of the Security Council called for the full and swift implementation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s national commitments under the Peace and Security Council Framework, including the restoration of State authority and the wider governance, economic and security sector reforms needed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to consolidate the progress made so far.  They noted in this context the particular importance of security sector reform, including the establishment of a rapid reaction force.  They stressed that the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo bears primary responsibility for security, protection of civilians, national reconciliation, peacebuilding and development in the country.


The members of the Security Council commended the work of Special Representative of the Secretary-General Kobler and outgoing Special Envoy of the Secretary-General Robinson, and underlined the continuing crucial role of MONUSCO in protecting civilians and promoting peace and stability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  They stressed the importance of the troop-contributing countries’ role in the implementation of the Mission’s full mandate, including the neutralization of all armed groups through its Intervention Brigade, in support of the authorities of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, either unilaterally or jointly with the Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC), and in cooperation with the whole of MONUSCO.  They further emphasized the importance for MONUSCO to support and work with the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to arrest and bring to justice those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity.  They also stressed the need to continue to increase the effectiveness of the Mission, and looked forward to the outcome of the forthcoming Strategic Review of MONUSCO and the wider United Nations presence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


The members of the Security Council encouraged the United Nations, the African Union, ICGLR, SADC and other relevant international and regional organizations to continue to work together to support the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Governments of the region towards the full implementation of the national and regional commitments under the Peace and Security Council Framework.


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For information media • not an official record