The Democratic Republic of Congo and other

matters

 

 

††††††††††††††††††† We had a briefing from Assistant Secretary-General Annabi on the events in

††††††††††††††††††† recent days in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and particularly the

††††††††††††††††††† diversion of the new Moroccan contingent of the UN mission in Congo

††††††††††††††††††† (MONUC) which was suppose to go and deploy in Kissangani but was

††††††††††††††††††† deterred from doing that. Members of the Council wanted me to say

††††††††††††††††††† something in detail about that.

 

††††††††††††††††††† We heard the briefing from Hedi Annabi with some concern that there had

††††††††††††††††††† been this resistance from RCD Goma to the deployment of the Moroccan

††††††††††† ††††††††contingent. This resistance is in contravention of resolution 1331, and of the

††††††††††††††††††† agreement with all the parties on deployment. Members of the Council were

††††††††††††††††††† clear in their own minds that it is not a reason to block or resist the

††††††††††††††††††† deployment of MONUC that any party should have concerns or worries about

††††††††††††††††††† another party not complying with the disengagement agreement. That is the

††††††††††††††††††† business of the Political Committee of the Lusaka Accord, it is the business

††††††††††††††††††† of the Security Council, it is the business of MONUC on the ground and

††††††††††††††††††† Ambassador Morjane. But it is not the business of another party to the

††††††††††††††††††† agreement to take action in controversion of agreed schedules because they

††††††††††††††††††† have worries about another party. So members of the Council wanted to

††††††††††††††††††† underline the importance of sticking to these disengagement schedules and

††††††††††††††††††† the schedules for the deployment of MONUC and to refrain all parties from

††††††††††††††††††† any retaliatory action of this kind.

 

††††††††††††††††††† Tomorrow there is going to be arranged a visit of a few Ambassadors resident

††††††††††††††††††† in Kinshasa by members of the Security Council to Goma to talk with the

††††††††††††††††††† leadership of RCD Goma about this incident, and to try and see whether

††††††††††††††††††† arrangements can be made to get back on schedule. So there is diplomacy at

††††††††††††††††††† work and the Security Council supports that diplomacy, and we wait to hear

††††††††††††††††††† the report of that further action and of Ambassador Morjane before we

††††††††††††††††††† consider the matter further.

 

††††††††††††††††††† We talked about the debate we are going to have next Monday on the

††††††††††††††††††† protection of civilians in armed conflicts following the report of the

††††††††††††††††††† Secretary-General earlier this month on that subject. And we focused on the

††††††††††††††††††† kind of pragmatic and practical steps that could be taken to follow-up the

††††††††††††††††††† Secretary-Generalís recommendations which we hope will come out in public

††††††††††††††††††† on Monday. So we feel unusually prepared for an open debate with our own

††††††††††††††††††† brainstorming on it, and that was very useful.

 

††††††††††††††††††† I then reported on a visit that I had this morning from an OAU delegation

††††††††††††††††††† talking about sanctions against UNITA. The OAU representative here brought

††††††††††††††††††† the Nigerian Ambassador in Addis Ababa who is the Head of a new body in

††††††††††††††††††† the OAU: the ad hoc committee on the implementation of sanctions against

††††† ††††††††††††††UNITA. And it is an interesting example of a regional organisation, a very

††††††††††††††††††† important one, taking up the recommendations of the Security Council and

††††††††††††††††††† the Secretary-General to follow-up in its own region the implementation of a

††††††††††††††††††† sanctions regime in a civil war that has caused tremendous damage in the

††††††††††††††††††† Angola region and for the OAU members generally. And this committee,

††††††††††††††††††† which was set up last summer came into being effectively in January, is now

††††††††††††††††††† liaising with the UN in following up sanctions against UNITA. So that was

††††††††††††††††††† quite an interesting development, and I might add that for those of you who

††††††††††††††††††† are following this closely the Nigerian Ambassador will be meeting

††††††††††††††††††† Ambassador Ryan later today because of his recent visit and his strong

††††††††††††††††††† interest as chair of the Sanctions Committee, in, may I say, the Fowler mode

††††††††††††††††††† on the subject.

 

††††††††††††††††††† Finally, we discussed the proposal again, particularly from the Russian

††††††††††††††††††† Federation, that, in addition to the mission of Congo in May, we should also

††††††††††††††††††† have a mission this summer to Kosovo. There is also a separate proposal that

††††††††††††††††††† came originally from Ukraine for a mission to Georgia. So we got our mission

†††††††††††††††††† boots on and we begun to discuss whether, when, what, who and how that

††††††††††††††††††† will continue. I have asked to consult the Special Representative on the

††††††††††††††††††† ground in Kosovo to see whether we can design the best context and the best

††††††††††††††††††† timing for a mission to Kosovo and l shall be following that up.

 

††††††††††††††††††† Q: Do you have any reaction to the Congo report yesterday, and its call for

††††††††††††††††††† sanctions on quite a number of countries and groups?

 

††††††††††††††††††† Not as yet in detail, London has not commented on this yet. We are very

††††††††††††††††††† interested in following up this whole issue of illegal exploitation of resources in

††††††††††††††††††† the Congo. In our view nationally, and again I think more generally it is one of

††††††††††††††††††† the reasons for the continuation of the conflict. The Panel has clearly done

††††††††††††††††††† some extremely good work. It has made the point that it has had quite a short

††††††††††††††††††† time to prepare this report, and that therefore there are things that need to be

††††††††††††††††††† followed up, investigations need to be deepened. You heard the chair of the

††††††††††††††††††† Sanctions, Mme Ba NíDaw, talk about that. We will have a discussion of this

††††††††††††††††††† tomorrow. The policy discussion of DRC will await the Secretary-Generalís

††††††††††††††††††† report on MONUC which is coming up in a day or two and we will have that on

††††††††††††††††††† Friday.

 

††††††††††††††††††† Q: The problems in the Middle East seem worrisome to the

††††††††††††††††††† Secretary-General. Is the Security Council in any way interested in speaking

††††††††††††††††††† out on this and the possibilities of exchanges between Israel and Syria ?

 

††††††††††††††††††† We are certainly keeping a close eye on the problem and we are going to

††††††††††††††††††† have a briefing on the latest events in informal consultations tomorrow. And if

††††††††††††††††††† the Security Council decides collectively that the President should say

††††††††††††††††††† something after that, I shall say something. Obviously there is a very delicate

††††††††††††††††††† background to that, and indeed a history. We will see tomorrow whether we

†††††††††††††††††† have anything to say.

 

††††††††††††††††††† Q: The Panel reports on African countries and the ongoing difficulties

††††††††††††††††††† regarding MONUC right now. Does this mean things are moving ahead, finally

††††††††††††††††††† after Africa was designated similarly as the focus point for the Security

††††††††††††††††††† Council seems every year, every month, or are the problems still very

††††††††††††††††††† intractable and we are still exactly where we were. When you read the

††††††††††††††††††† diamond report yesterday and the plundering of Congo and you have Angola,

††††††††††††††††††† Sierra Leone and other missions?

 

††††††††††††††††††† You have partly answered your own question. I think there is a conglomeration

††††††††††††††††††† of activity which is changing the picture in terms of UN activity on these

††††††††††††††††††† conflicts and on the people who are exploiting them. It has already been noted

††††††††††††††††††† and indeed the Nigerian Ambassador noted it this morning that the difficulties

††††††††††††††††††† have increased for an organisation like UNITA in selling diamonds and in

††††††††††††††††††† buying arms. It has become more difficult and more expensive and therefore

††††††††††††††††††† more of a problem to run a rebellion of that kind. I hope the same will be

††††††††††††††††††† considered true of the interaction between the revolution of the United Front in

††††††††††††††††††† Sierra Leone and Liberia, and will be seen as something which is relevant to

††††††††††††††††††† the conflict in the Great Lakes and in the DRC. I think the UN generally, and

††††††††††††††††††† the Security Council in particular, are getting more operational and more

††††††††††††††††††† detailed in their activity. But there also needs to be a regional response

††††††††††††††††††† because you cannot implement these regimes unless you have the

††††††††††††††††††† agreement of the neighbours and the region, and this is something that is now

††††††††††††††††††† beginning to click in a really operational way. It is immature as yet, a lot more

††††††††††††††††††† needs to be done, a lot more resources need to be put into it but I think we

††††††††††††††††††† are seeing the beginning of a new stage of real hard implementation of what

††††††††††††††††††† before were resolutions that tended to sit around on the shelf.