SECURITY COUNCIL CALLS ON STATES IN GREAT LAKES REGION TO ENSURE THAT THEIR TERRITORY NOT BE USED FOR ARMED GROUPS TO LAUNCH ATTACKS
SECURITY COUNCIL CALLS ON STATES IN GREAT LAKES REGION TO ENSURE THAT THEIR TERRITORY NOT BE USED FOR ARMED GROUPS TO LAUNCH ATTACKS
SECURITY COUNCIL CALLS ON STATES IN GREAT LAKES REGION TO ENSURE THAT THEIR TERRITORY NOT BE USED FOR ARMED GROUPS TO LAUNCH ATTACKS19960423 Resolution 1053, Adopted Unanimously, Requests Secretary-General to Maintain Inquiry Commission Monitoring Arms Embargo against Rwandan Government Forces
The Security Council this afternoon called upon States in the Great Lakes region to ensure that their territory is not used as a base for armed groups to launch incursions or attacks against any other State in violation of principles of international law and the United Nations Charter.
The Council took that action by unanimously adopting resolution 1053 (1996), which requested the Secretary-General to maintain the United Nations Commission of Inquiry charged with monitoring the arms embargo against the former Rwandan government forces.
By other terms of the text, the Council urged all States, in particular those in the Great Lakes region, to intensify their efforts to prevent military training and the sale or supply of weapons to militia groups or former Rwandan government forces. States were also urged to take steps to ensure the effective implementation of the arms embargo imposed by Council resolution 1011 (1995).
The Council called upon States, in particular those whose nationals have been implicated by the report of the Commission of Inquiry, to investigate the apparent complicity of their officials or private citizens in the purchase of arms from Seychelles in June 1994 and in other suspected violations of relevant Security Council resolutions.
States are further called on to make available to the Commission the results of their investigations, and to cooperate fully with the Commission. Such cooperation should include providing to the Commission at any time any access it requests to airfields and to witnesses, in private and without the presence of officials or representatives of any government.
Expressing concern at the lack of response by certain Member States to the Commission's inquiries, the Council called upon those States that have not yet done so to cooperate fully with the Commission in its inquiries and to investigate fully reports of their officials and nationals suspected of violating the relevant Council resolutions. While reiterating its concern
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that the uncontrolled illegal flows of arms and related matériel in violation of Council resolutions would pose a threat to peace and stability in the Great Lakes region, the Council declared its willingness to consider further measures in that regard.
By other terms of the text adopted today, the Council requested the Secretary-General to consult with States neighbouring Rwanda, in particular Zaire, on appropriate measures, including the possible deployment of United Nations observers, for improving implementation of the arms embargo and deterrence of the shipment of arms to former Rwandan government forces. Such measures should include the possible deployment of United Nations observers in the airfields and other transportation points in and around border crossing points.
Speakers this afternoon stressed the importance of stemming arms flows into the region in violation of the current embargo which had been reported by the Commission of Inquiry. Particular concern was expressed that forces of the former Rwandan Government were being trained in neighbouring States for an armed incursion into the country.
Addressing the Council, the representative of Rwanda said his country's efforts to take its own future in hand faced difficulties owing to the approach being taken by the international community. The world had witnessed the behaviour of the United Nations, both before and during the genocide. The Organization had demonstrated a systematic lack of desire to help in Rwanda's rehabilitation. He hoped it would now help his country do what it had so far been unable to do for itself.
The countries of the Great Lakes region -- Burundi, Rwanda and Zaire -- were closely interrelated, the representative of Burundi stressed. A cataclysm in one meant inevitable repercussions in the others. Similarly, the direct implication of one of them in specific acts or omissions could also have a boomerang effect. It was, therefore, essential that the three States work together.
Although Zaire had always been willing to cooperate with the Commission of Inquiry, it had received discriminatory treatment at its hands, that country's representative said. The Commission had forfeited its objectivity.
Statements were also made by the representatives of Indonesia, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, Guinea-Bissau, Botswana, Italy, Republic of Korea, Egypt, China, France, Germany, Honduras and the United States.
The meeting, which was called to order at 12:42 p.m., adjourned at 2:49 p.m.
For its consideration, the Council has before it a letter dated 13 March from the Secretary-General to the Council President (document S/1996/195) which transmits the final report of the International Commission of Inquiry to investigate reports relating to the sale or supply of arms and related matériel to former Rwandan government forces in the Great Lakes region in violation of Council resolutions. The Secretary-General notes that the Council may wish to decide whether the Commission should continue its investigations, emphasizing that, in the absence of voluntary contributions, the Commission would continue to be financed through the regular budget.
Retention of the Commission of Inquiry is recommended in the report annexed to the letter, which states that either the Commission or a similar body should maintain contacts with the governments of the Great Lakes region, to follow-up investigations, respond to further allegations of violations and report periodically to the Secretary-General on the evolution of the situation. "The Commission must state plainly its view that if the Security Council's resolutions are to be properly implemented, sufficient additional resources must be made available to put in place the measures proposed by the Commission, should the Council wish to adopt them."
With respect to the specific situation in the Great Lakes region, the Commission recommends the immediate establishment of a mobile unit to monitor the embargo's implementation. Governments of the region, particularly Zaire, should intensify their efforts to ensure that their territory is not used for the recruitment or training of refugees, nor as a base for armed groups to launch incursions against another country. Further, they should intensify efforts to prevent military training and the sale or supply of weapons to militia groups or other groups among refugees.
In the report, the Commission supports the conclusion of the summit meeting on the Great Lakes region held in Cairo last November which expressed deep concern over the use of radio broadcasts to spread hate and fear in the region, and urged the international community to identify the location of broadcasters.
Other specific recommendations look towards the further investigation of violations which have or may have taken place. Among them, the Commission recommends that the Council call on the Government of Zaire to investigate the apparent complicity of its personnel and officials in the purchase of arms from Seychelles in June 1994 -- an incident which is examined in detail elsewhere in the report. The Government should also be required to conduct a thorough inquiry into alleged Zairian complicity in other suspected violations of Council resolutions. "In particular, the investigation should explain why a high-ranking Rwandan officer of a force placed under a United Nations arms embargo, Colonel Théoneste Bagosora, was apparently authorized to act for the Zairian Ministry of
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Defence in the purchase of arms from Seychelles in June 1994 and to take delivery of arms on behalf of the Zairian Armed Forces; how Colonel Bagosora came by the end-user certificate apparently issued by the Zairian Ministry of Defence; who authorized him to charter an Air Zaire aircraft to transport the arms; and what became of those arms."
Proposing measures to deter further violations of the embargo, the Commission recommends that Zaire be invited to consider the stationing of United Nations observers on its territory to monitor the implementation of the embargo and deter arms shipments to the former Rwandan government forces that violate the embargo. The Council should perhaps extend the concept embodied in the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Zairian Camp Security Contingent, by which national troops are recruited, led and paid by the international community, and apply it to the monitoring of the embargo in Zaire. Such action could be carried out under Chapter VII of the Charter and in cooperation with the Organization of African Unity (OAU).
The recommendations contained in the report address not only the particular case of Rwanda and the Great Lakes region, but also the imposition of arms embargoes generally. For example, the Commission recommends that when the Security Council imposes an embargo under Chapter VII of the Charter, it should urge neighouring States to establish offices to enforce the embargo on their respective territories. Where necessary, consideration should be given to establishing a trust fund within the context of Article 50 of the Charter to assist in that effort. (Article 50 provides States with the right to consult the Council if preventive or enforcement measures it imposes cause them special economic problems.) At the same time, the Council should establish a committee to coordinate the work of the various offices, including investigations of violations. Such a body should be staffed through additional resources.
Noting that many of the conflicts the Security Council addresses through the imposition of arms embargoes are exacerbated by land-mines and small arms, the Commission recommends that when embargoes are imposed, neighbouring States should be encouraged to voluntarily maintain a register on movements and acquisitions of small arms, ammunition and materiel. "As a preliminary step, the Security Council may wish to encourage the States of the Great Lakes region to consider creating such a register." States that have not already done so should be encouraged to adhere to the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed To Be Excessively Injurious or To Have Indiscriminate Effects and its Protocols. In addition, supplier countries might be requested to ensure that they do not transfer small arms, including mines, to private businessmen.
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The Council also had before it a draft resolution (document S/1996/298), which reads as follows:
"The Security Council,
"Recalling all its previous resolutions on the situation in Rwanda, in particular its resolutions 918 (1994) of 17 May 1994, 997 (1995) of 9 June 1995, 1011 (1995) of 16 August 1995 and 1013 (1995) of 7 September 1995,
"Having considered the letter dated 13 March 1996 from the Secretary- General to the President of the Security Council (S/1996/195) and the report of the International Commission of Inquiry established under resolution 1013 (1995) annexed to that letter, as well as the interim report of the Commission of Inquiry dated 17 January 1996 (S/1996/67, annex),
"Expressing its support for the Tunis Declaration of Heads of State of the Great Lakes Region of 18 March 1996,
"Expressing once again its grave concern at allegations of the sale and supply of arms and related matériel to former Rwandan government forces in violation of the embargo imposed under its resolutions 918 (1994), 997 (1995) and 1011 (1995), and underlining the need for Governments to take action to ensure the effective implementation of the embargo,
"Commending the members of the Commission of Inquiry for the excellent investigation they have conducted,
"Welcoming the assistance given to the Commission of Inquiry by some Governments,
"Noting with concern the continuing lack of full cooperation the Commission of Inquiry has received from other Governments,
"Gravely concerned by the finding of the Commission of Inquiry that certain Rwandan elements are receiving military training to conduct destabilizing raids into Rwanda,
"Deeply disturbed by the strong evidence presented by the Commission of Inquiry leading to the conclusion that it is highly probable that a violation of the arms embargo occurred, in particular by the sale of arms which took place in Seychelles in June 1994 and the subsequent two shipments of arms to Goma, Zaire from Seychelles destined for former Rwandan government forces,
"Noting that the Commission of Inquiry received strong indications from its sources that aircraft are continuing to land at Goma and Bukavu with arms for former Rwandan government forces, and that senior figures among those forces are
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still actively raising money apparently for the purpose of funding an armed struggle against Rwanda,
"Further noting that the Commission of Inquiry has not yet been able to investigate thoroughly these allegations of continuing violations of the arms embargo,
"Reaffirming the need for a long-term solution to the refugee and related problems in the Great Lakes States,
"Reaffirming also the importance of terminating radio broadcasts which spread hate and fear in the region, and emphasizing the need for States to assist the countries of the region in terminating such broadcasts as stated by the Cairo Declaration of Heads of State of the Great Lakes Region of 29 November 1995 (S/1995/1001),
"1. Reaffirms the importance it attaches to the work of the Commission of Inquiry, to the investigations it has conducted to date, and to continued effective implementation of the relevant Council resolutions;
"2. Requests the Secretary-General to maintain the Commission of Inquiry on the basis set out in paragraph 91 (c) of the report of the Commission of Inquiry (S/1996/195, annex) to follow up its earlier investigations and to stand ready to pursue any further allegations of violations, especially of current and expected arms shipments;
"3. Expresses its determination that the prohibition on the sale or supply of arms and related matériel to non-governmental forces for use in Rwanda should be implemented fully in accordance with resolution 1011 (1995);
"4. Calls upon States in the Great Lakes region to ensure that their territory is not used as a base for armed groups to launch incursions or attacks against any other State in violation of principles of international law and the Charter of the United Nations;
"5. Urges all States, in particular those in the region, to intensify their efforts to prevent military training and the sale or supply of weapons to militia groups or former Rwandan government forces, and to take the steps necessary to ensure the effective implementation of the arms embargo, including by creation of all necessary national mechanisms for implementation;
"6. Encourages States of the Great Lakes region to ensure the effective implementation of the Tunis Declaration of Heads of State of the Great Lakes Region of 18 March 1996;
"7. Requests the Secretary-General to consult with States neighbouring Rwanda, in particular Zaire, on appropriate measures, including the possible deployment of United Nations observers in the airfields and other transportation
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points in and around border crossing points, for the purpose of better implementation of the arms embargo and deterrence of the shipment of arms to former Rwandan government forces in violation of Council resolutions;
"8. Expresses concern at the lack of response by certain States to the Commission's inquiries, and calls upon those States that have not yet done so to cooperate fully with the Commission in its inquiries and to investigate fully reports of their officials and nationals suspected of violating the relevant Council resolutions;
"9. Calls upon States, in particular those whose nationals have been implicated by the report of the Commission of Inquiry, to investigate the apparent complicity of their officials or private citizens in the purchase of arms from Seychelles in June 1994, and in other suspected violations of the relevant Council resolutions;
"10. Further calls upon States to make available to the Commission of Inquiry the results of their investigations, and to cooperate fully with the Commission of Inquiry, including by providing to the Commission of Inquiry at any time any access they request to airfields and to witnesses, in private and without the presence of officials or representatives of any Government;
"11. Encourages States to make voluntary contributions to the Secretary- General's United Nations Trust Fund for Rwanda to support the work of the Commission of Inquiry, and to contribute through the Secretary-General equipment and services to the Commission of Inquiry;
"12. Requests the Secretary-General to submit a report to the Council on the implementation of this resolution by 1 October 1996;
"13. Reiterates its concern that the uncontrolled illegal flows of arms and related matériel in violation of Council resolutions would pose a threat to peace and stability in the Great Lakes region and declares its willingness to consider further measures in this regard;
"14. Decides to remain seized of the matter."
MANZI BAKURAMUTSA (Rwanda) drew attention to the sale and shipment of arms to forces of the former Rwandan Government. He said the first report of the International Commission of Inquiry complemented the second report, which brought to light information and evidence. It confirmed what non-governmental organizations and the BBC had already discovered. The Commission had done remarkable work in a short period of time.
Monitoring the implementation of a resolution, particularly those adopted under Chapter VII, could only be done under another resolution which was even more effective, he said. Unfortunately, today's text was weak. The
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Commission had not been sufficiently supported by the Council. If the Commission did not fulfil its mandate, the destabilization of the region would continue. There would be a loss of human life among the displaced persons and refugees. There would be regression of the economy, a risk of famine, and the possibility that the region might go up in flames.
The uncontrolled circulation of arms was sparing no country of the subregion, he said. Those arms were being used to destabilize the Government in Burundi. In addition, Rwanda had just received a large inflow of refugees from Zaire. It was astonishing that the United Nations had not denounced the illegal circulation of weapons in the region. The successful implementation of today's resolution was vital to the population of the entire subregion.
The efforts made by the Rwandan Government to take its own future in hand was facing difficulties owing to the sectoral approach being taken by the international community, he said. The fact that the word genocide appeared nowhere in the text served to minimize that offence. It had been completely overlooked that those who were acquiring weapons were those who had dreamed up the genocide. The International Tribunal should have inquired into the related cases, but it had not even been mentioned.
The Tribunal was not even functioning, he said. Thus, those responsible for the genocide and their militias enjoyed the status of refugees, even though they remained responsible for armed bands. What could be the meaning of reconciliation between the perpetrators and victims of genocide, when those who had conducted the genocide were in the process of re-arming? How could the Government encourage the return of those refugees? The arming of those forces was also contributing to the situation in Burundi.
He denied the statement that the negotiations with the Government on establishing a small political office in Rwanda had become difficult. The Government had agreed to accept that office, as proposed by the Secretary- General. It had invited the Secretary-General's Special Representative to Kigali to make specific proposals on the office's status, mandate and duration. The Special Representative never spoke with the Government again on the subject. Despite subsequent approaches by its Permanent Representative, the Rwandan Government was not contacted for any further discussion regarding the political offices.
The Secretary-General's report also discussed the equipment of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) which had been left behind in Rwanda, he said. That equipment was given to the Government of Rwanda in response to its request for non-military material. That request enjoyed the Council's support in various resolutions. After having evaluated the equipment left behind, the Government found its value was much lower than what was cited in the Secretary-General's report. Further, it was not fitted to the needs of the Government for rehabilitation and in connection with the return of refugees. Thus, that material could not be accepted.
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The world had witnessed the behaviour of the United Nations both before and during the genocide in Rwanda, he said. It had demonstrated a continual and systematic lack of desire to help the country 's rehabilitation and to staunch its wounds. The Government hoped the Council and the office to be created in Rwanda would help Rwanda to do what it had so far been unable to do for itself. He thanked those countries which had supported the resolutions regarding arms sales.
NSANZE TERENCE (Burundi) said that, in April 1994, Rwanda was drowned in blood by a political and social system bent on genocide. Those currently in power had been working intensively to relieve the suffering of the Rwandan people, safeguard internal and external security, and to ensure Rwanda's territorial integrity and sovereignty. Those efforts were being threatened by the troops of the former regime. There was proof of preparations for aggression against a people who were still deeply traumatized.
Information provided to his own Government from many sources all confirmed that forces of fundamentalism and genocide were still acting against Rwanda, he said. They were also now turning on Burundi. Massive infiltrations of former Rwandan forces had entered into collusion with armed bands against the Burundian people. Their aim was to reinvent genocide in Rwanda and carry it out in Burundi. As a result, Burundi had been compelled to close its common borders with Zaire. Certain governments and foreign circles were acting cynically when they demanded negotiations with the leaders of such infamy.
It was strange that the West, which had experienced firsthand the terror of Hitler, was now advocating negotiations with those who were advocating genocide. France deserved special gratitude from Burundi for its position against the trend in the European Union to deprive Rwanda and Burundi of foreign aid. In international forums, abhorrence of genocide was expressed. However, there was silence regarding the vandals who were terrorizing Burundi. His Government and people paid tribute to the United States for its position. However, in many States and international bodies, it had become customary to pay mere lip-service to the massacres.
Burundi, Rwanda and Zaire -- the countries of the Great Lakes region -- were obliged to work in solidarity, he said. Subversion against any member State of that community was prohibited. The future of those three countries and their peoples were closely interrelated. A cataclysm in one had inevitable repercussions in the others. Similarly, the direct implication of one of them in specific acts or omissions could also have a boomerang effect. Groups which attempted to launch attacks against Zaire from Burundi's territory had been stopped. Burundi would always express such solidarity with its neighbours.
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He said the Great Lakes region was about to be flooded with weapons. Sanctions must be imposed on countries and companies which violated the embargo. The spread of weapons and the proliferation of armed terrorist groups could result in the excessive arming of the region, as well as in widespread insecurity. The current Chairman of the organization of the countries of the Great Lakes region should convene a special summit. That would have a general impact which would, no doubt, be successful in addressing the common danger in the region.
LUKABU KHABOUJI N'ZAJI (Zaire) said the interim and final reports of the Commission of Inquiry could not be read in isolation from each other. The interim report notes that the Commission visited an island in Rwanda where it inspected arms and other military material. Most of the arms were old and unusable, and the new material consisted mostly of dismantled machine guns. However, the report did not indicate the origin of those arms. The Commission indicated it had intended to visit Zaire on 22 November 1995, he said. They wished to be housed in Rwanda while carrying out their inquiries in Zaire. Such matters affected the relations between the Government and the Commission.
A careful reading of the Commission's reports demonstrated that Zaire had been given discriminatory treatment, he said. In addition, untruths had been served up to the Council. The Government had earnestly hoped that the Commission members would reside on the territory of Zaire during their work in the country. Every effort would have been made to ensure their security. Could anyone say why a press conference must be held before, during and after the Commission's inquiries? He said he was trying to demonstrate the unequal treatment and discriminatory methods applied by the Commission to Zaire.
Most of the final report dealt with a single case, which was pompously entitled "Case study: Purchase of arms in Seychelles". Zaire was cited more than once in that item. During the period when the so-called arms deliveries were supposed to have taken place in violation of the embargo, the situation around Goma was marked by considerable confusion, owing to massive refugee flows. At the same time, the Government of the regime which had been expelled from Rwanda was still fighting on the soil of Rwanda. Rwanda was then represented by individuals of the former regime, who still represented the legal Government of Rwanda. In addition, the report did not say the specific time when the decision was made to sell the arms shipment in question.
The Commission had forfeited its objectivity and was hedged about with prejudices, he said. All the replies which did not corroborate what appeared in the Commission's reference documents were viewed as signs of non- cooperation. Despite accusations of uncooperativeness, Zaire had delivered a letter to the Council stating that the Commission had left Zaire on its own initiative and would be provided with all cooperation when they saw the need to return. No mention of that letter was made in the report.
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He drew attention to the draft resolution before the Council. The preamble made reference to the Tunis Declaration. Operative paragraph 6 also referred to the same Declaration. Was the Council entitled to take hold of any document produced in the world and insert it in a resolution. The Tunis Declaration had never been published as an official document of the Council, as far as he knew.
He said the preamble also referred to planes which continued to land in Bukavu with arms. That was a fiction. It was high time for the Council not to base its decisions on unproven allegations. There were other allegations, published by serious sources, which had not received the same attention from the Council. The Council should take account of the refugee dimension in all its actions on the matter. The statement that the Kigali Government had received 8,000 refugees from Zaire was not true, as it did not take adequate account of the history of the situation in question. There were no Zaire refugees in Rwanda. There was a movement of a Rwandan population in Zaire.
Operative paragraph 7, which singled out Zaire, demonstrated a lack of knowledge of the situation in the region, he said. The arms traffic in the region was emphasized, forgetting that the arms which had decimated so many were not cannons or mortars but simple machetes. Those were the weapons which were found in Rwanda. Zaire requested that the Commission reply to the many questions it had raised in a letter sent during March, to help it carry out its own investigations into the arms sales in question.
Action on Draft Resolution
MAKARIM WIBISONO (Indonesia) said the uncontrolled illegal flow of arms and related matériel posed a threat to peace and stability in the Great Lakes region. His delegation had supported the establishment of the Commission of Inquiry and remained convinced of its important role in stabilizing the situation in that region. Complimenting the Commission's work, he said its thoroughness had enabled it to conclude that there was a high degree of probability that violations of the arms embargo had occurred. It had also concluded that two shipments of arms destined for the former Rwandan government forces had taken place and that flights from neighbouring countries continued.
The Commission's recommendations might contribute to the broader considerations that underscored the peace process in the region, he said. He fully supported the objective of ensuring that the countries of the region not be used as bases for armed groups to launch incursions or attacks against any other State. They should also prevent military training and the sale or supply of weapons to militia groups or to the former Rwandan government forces. Such confidence-building measures would undoubtedly promote peace and stability in the region.
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The prohibition on the sale or supply of arms and related matériel would be to no avail without the cooperation and support of the countries of the region, he continued. States that had not cooperated with the Commission should extend their full support for its inquiries without delay. The Commission should receive the necessary funding to fulfil its mandate. He hoped for a positive response by Member States to the calls for contributions. He looked forward to the Secretary-General's consultations with Rwanda's neighbouring States on measures to improve the implementation of the arms embargo and to deter the shipment of arms to former Rwandan government forces.
OLEG N. CHTCHERBAK (Russian Federation) said the tasks of restoring peace in Rwanda and the region could be resolved through a well-thought out and comprehensive approach. An integral part of that effort would be to prevent the flow of weapons that were capable of contributing to a new spiral of bloody violence. In the past, he had expressed concern for the flow of arms to the former Rwandan regime. He supported the Commission, which was a deterrent against political and ethnic extremism in the region and would vote in favour of the draft resolution, which contained balanced steps to restore stability in the region. He appealed to all the countries of the region not to allow their territories to be used as a base for launching attacks on other States.
DEREK J. PLUMBLY (United Kingdom) said his country would vote in favour of the text. The Commission had done a very professional job, but in some cases it had not met with adequate cooperation. The text before the Council would enable the Commission to continue its work and investigate any allegations it received. The Council expected full cooperation in those efforts, particularly from Zaire.
He said the idea of a United Nations monitoring presence on the ground was worth pursuing. The continuing instability of the Great Lakes region was a matter which must remain of great concern to the Council. The United Kingdom attached great importance to the implementation of resolution 1050 (1996), to the establishment of a United Nations political office in Rwanda, and to the retention of the radio station there. In the longer term, it attached importance to the holding of a regional conference to resolve outstanding issues.
JOAO SOARES DA GAMA (Guinea-Bissau) said that, despite important measures taken by the Council, Rwanda remained a theatre for armed incursions. He drew attention to the lack of respect for the measures taken by the Council and an unwillingness by some parties to cooperate with the United Nations. Guinea-Bissau was concerned to read that certain Rwandan elements were receiving military training for the purpose of conducting military incursions into that country.
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The radio broadcasts which disseminated fear and hatred in the region were a continuing source of concern, he said. All States should cooperate to halt those broadcasts without delay. The decisions taken at regional conferences should be implemented. Each country of the region should ensure that its territory would not be used by former Rwandan forces for military training, or for the sale or delivery of weapons.
MOTHUSI D. C. NKGOWE (Botswana) said the situation in the Great Lakes region was potentially explosive. It was of paramount importance that the arms embargo imposed by the Council be effectively implemented. The Commission's conclusions had had a profound impact in generating international awareness about the obligation to comply with Council resolutions. Both governments and individuals had a role to play towards that goal.
In that connection, he recognized the valiant efforts of non- governmental organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the personnel of the international media for the work they had done in documenting evidence on the sale and supply of arms to former Rwandan government forces. Although their lives must have been in great danger, they had produced work which was of great benefit to the Commission's investigation. They had demonstrated their solidarity with a country whose people were struggling to recover from the devastating consequences of genocide, the perpetrators of which were not remorseful -- they were rearming and retraining with a view to returning to the country by force.
It was clear that the Commission still had some work to do, he continued. There were reports that aircraft were continuing to land at Goma and Bukavu and that some former Rwandan government forces were engaging in fundraising activities to finance an armed return to Rwanda. The Commission's continued investigations were very important as a powerful deterrent against those who still harboured the idea of armed incursions into Rwanda. Individuals who were identified would be good candidates for the investigations of the International Criminal Tribunal.
The Commission could only succeed if it enjoyed the full support and cooperation of Member States, in particular those in the Great Lakes region, he went on. The Government of the Seychelles had contributed meaningfully. The sale and flow of arms demanded a multifaceted approach. The priority for investigation should be to stem the flow of such weapons. It would therefore be an important step if the States neighbouring Rwanda could agree to the deployment of United Nations observers as envisaged in the draft resolution. He looked forward to the Secretary-General's consultations on the matter.
SEBASTIANO CARDI (Italy) said the Commission's work had helped to shed light on a very disturbing and threatening phenomenon -- the flow of arms in the Great Lakes region and the probable supply of arms to elements of the former Rwandan Government in violation of the arms embargo imposed by the Security Council. The Commission had been instrumental in giving the Council
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a clearer and more accurate picture of the actual flow of arms in the region. That phenomenon represented one of the most threatening aspects of the overall instability in the area. The report was a point of departure and Italy was strongly in favour of the Commission continuing its activates.
It was absolutely clear that the Commission's very existence and presence in the region were already a dissuasive factor in relation to arms flows, he continued. The more visible the Commission's presence and the more effective its investigations, the harder it would be to disregard or violate the Council's resolutions. He expressed support for the possible deployment of United Nations observers in States bordering Rwanda in order to deter arms shipments. Italy felt that the draft resolution correctly addressed the Council's concerns over the need to adopt effective measures to prevent destabilizing activates in the Great lakes region.
PARK SOO GIL (Republic of Korea) expressed great concern at the Commission's conclusion that it was highly probable that a violation of the arms embargo had occurred. The finding that certain Rwandan elements were receiving military training to conduct raids into that country was also disturbing. His country attached great importance to the full implementation of the embargo. It welcomed the retention of the Commission with a view to following up on its previous enquiries and to ensuring the full implementation of the arms embargo.
All States, particulary those in the region, should take steps to stop the flow of weapons to armed elements, he said. All States, particularly those whose nationals had been implicated in the Commission's report, should render all possible support to the Commission. There was an urgent need to find a long-term solution to the plight of the millions of refugees in Rwanda and its neighbouring States. Their return to their respective homes was essential, not only for normalization of the situation in Rwanda but also for the stabilization of the region. It was particularly important an end radio broadcasts which promulgated hatred.
SOLIMAN AWAAD (Eygpt) welcomed the Commission's findings, and commended those governments that had cooperated with it, and appealed to other parties to support the Commission's work. All States should work to implement the embargo to end the sale of arms to the former Rwanda forces. No States should allow any part of its territory to be used as a base to launch attacks against another State. The Council had requested the Secretary-General to consult with the States neighbouring Rwanda to improve the implementation of the arms embargo and deter the sale of arms to elements of the former Rwandan regime. Such consultations on the deployment of United Nations observers at border checkpoints and ports would ensure respect for that States' sovereignty.
He expressed concern that some elements of the former Rwandan forces were being trained to launch attacks on Rwanda. There would be no stability unless the question of refugees in the Great Lakes region was addressed and
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their return to their respective countries facilitated. He supported the Tunis Declaration and hoped that all of its provisions would be implemented. The resolution represented an appropriate and balanced reaction by the Council to the Commission's report.
QIN HUASUN (China) said there was a deep sense of relief that Rwanda was moving towards peace and stability. It had been difficult for that country to achieve peace. It had been the result of the Rwandan search for peace and stability. However, the country still faced some difficulties. China hoped that Rwanda would achieve its objectives. The illegal flow of arms constituted a potential threat to peace and stability in the region. He favoured appropriate measures being adopted by the Council to stem the flow of arms. In doing so, the Council should heed and respect the views of the countries in the region.
The draft resolution was adopted unanimously as resolution 1053 (1996).
PHILIPPE THIEBAUD (France) said the resolution would enable the Commission to continue its investigations. The Commission's report emphasized arms transactions which had been carried out in violation of the embargo. There was every reason to be disturbed by those disclosures, occurring in a region where tensions remained high. The very existence of the Commission had had a deterrent effect on such violations.
He said that France had done everything in its power to support the Commission in its work. If voluntary contributions proved insufficient to cover the Commission's running expenses, appropriate decisions would be taken to enable it to successfully conclude the mission which was being entrusted to it today unanimously by the Council.
HANS-PETER KAUL (Germany) said the aim of supporting peace and security in the region required a concerted effort to stop the uncontrolled flow of arms there. For that reason, Germany strongly supported the suggestion that the countries mentioned in the report do their utmost to investigate the matter, so that in the future their might not be a new flow of arms.
Germany saw the Commission's work as part of the endeavours of the international community to contribute to the region's stability and therefore supported its operations, he said. The neighbouring countries must intensify their efforts to prevent any military activities by members of the former Rwandan regime. Those States, particularly Zaire, were called upon to cooperate with the Commission in its work. It would be short-sighted not to provide the necessary means for the important task given to the Commission.
JULIO ANTONIO RENDON BARNICA (Honduras) said it was obvious that the flow of arms and the military training received by the Rwandan elements endangered peace and security in the entire Great Lakes region. The establishment of the Commission had been an important step in containing such
Security Council - 17 - Press Release SC/6210 3656th Meeting (PM) 23 April 1996
operations and in preventing the occurrence of a new genocide and humanitarian disaster in Rwanda. Those governments which might be implicated in violation of the embargo should give their full cooperation to the Commission in its work.
WILIAM WOOD (United States) said the Commission of Inquiry had done an excellent job despite inadequate cooperation from several key governments. The evidence of violations of the embargo on arms sales to the former Rwandan forces in June 1994 when those forces were committing genocide was shocking. The allegations in the Commission's report of continuing violations of the embargo must be thoroughly investigated. All governments should cooperate fully with the Commission's investigations. The terms of the mandate were clear. All members of the United Nations were obligated to assist the Commission, to provide security for its members, and to provide access to witnesses and places as the Commission required.
The embargo on sales and transfers of arms to the former Rwandan armed forces and militias had been imposed under Chapter VII of the Charter, he noted. Such arms sales were a threat to international peace and security. As the Commission of Experts and the Council had already determined, the former Rwandan armed forces had already used their weapons to commit genocide against the Rwandan people and were now using their arms to spread terror and insecurity inside Rwanda. Their armed insurgency must be stopped. Those leaders of the former Rwandan government forces who had committed genocide should be prosecuted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
The Council was determined that the embargo on armed sales to the former Rwandan government forces should be enforced, he said. The Commission was part of that enforcement effort. The evidence uncovered by the Commission should be used by Member States to investigate, arrest and prosecute the arms traffickers who had violated domestic and international law by violating the arms embargo. He called on all Member States to enforce the embargo,
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