13 March 2008 The Security Council today called on all Rwandan armed groups operating in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to surrender immediately to Congolese authorities and the United Nations peacekeeping mission known as MONUC.
In a unanimously adopted resolution, the 15-member body demanded that all members of the Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda (FDLR), ex-Rwandan Armed Forces (ex-FAR)/Interahamwe and other groups present themselves to be disarmed, demobilized, repatriated, resettled and reintegrated.
The Council also said these groups must “immediately stop recruiting and using children, release all children associated with them, and put an end to gender-based violence, particularly rape and other forms of sexual abuse,” adding that those responsible need to be brought to justice.
Today’s resolution called on both the Governments of the DRC and neighbouring Rwanda to scale up their cooperation in implementing last November’s so-called Joint Nairobi Communiqué, under which the two countries agreed to work together against threats to peace and stability in the region.
Council members welcomed the DRC’s decision to hold a meeting in Kisangani to address the issue of the presence of Rwandan armed groups in the country.
They also voiced their “grave concern” at the ongoing presence of other militias in eastern DRC, which perpetuates a “climate of insecurity in the whole region.”
The body noted that the agreement reached between the Government and armed groups in the east on 23 January represents “a major step towards the restoration of lasting peace and stability in the Great Lakes region,” and urged its signatories to implement its provisions immediately.
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