SECURITY COUNCIL WELCOMES ZAIRE'S ACCEPTANCE, OAU ENDORSEMENT OF PEACE PLAN FOR EASTERN ZAIRE

7 March 1997
SC/6336

SECURITY COUNCIL WELCOMES ZAIRE'S ACCEPTANCE, OAU ENDORSEMENT OF PEACE PLAN FOR EASTERN ZAIRE

7 March 1997

Press ReleaseSC/6336

SECURITY COUNCIL WELCOMES ZAIRE'S ACCEPTANCE, OAU ENDORSEMENT OF PEACE PLAN FOR EASTERN ZAIRE

19970307 Presidential Statement Calls on Alliance of Democratic Forces for Liberation of Congo/Zaire to Publicly Accept Peace Provisions

The Security Council this evening welcomed the Zairian Government's acceptance of the United Nations peace plan contained in its resolution 1097 (1997) of 18 February, as well as endorsement of the plan by the Council of Ministers of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) at its meeting in Tripoli from 24 to 28 February.

In a statement read by President Zbigniew Wlosowicz (Poland) on members' behalf, the Council called on the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo/Zaire to declare publicly its acceptance of all the provisions of resolution 1097, particularly that which called for an immediate cessation of hostilities.

By resolution 1097, the Council endorsed a five-point peace plan for eastern Zaire calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities, withdrawal of all external forces, including mercenaries, and the reaffirmation of respect for the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Zaire and other States in the Great Lakes region.

Also by its statement today, the Council expressed grave concern at the deteriorating situation in the Great Lakes region, particularly in eastern Zaire, and underlined the urgent need for a comprehensive and coordinated response by the international community in support of the efforts of the joint United Nations/Organization of African Unity Special Representative for the Great Lakes Region.

Expressing concern about the effect of continued fighting in eastern Zaire on the refugees and inhabitants of that region, the Council called on all parties to allow access by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and humanitarian agencies to refugees and displaced persons. The Council also took note with concern of allegations of violations of international humanitarian law in the conflict zone and welcomed the sending of a United Nations fact-finding mission to the area.

In addition, the Council welcomed all efforts, including those of the organizations and States of the region, aimed at resolving the crisis. In that context, it welcomed the initiative of Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi to convene another regional meeting in Nairobi on 19 March and the OAU's initiative to organize a summit of the Central Organ of the OAU Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution on the Great Lakes region in Lome before the end of March. The Council also reaffirmed the importance of holding an international conference on peace, security and development in the Great Lakes region under the auspices of the United Nations and the OAU.

The Council was informed of Zaire's acceptance in a letter dated 5 March from the Secretary-General (document S/1997/197). Annexed to the letter is a statement issued in Paris by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Zaire, Gerard Kamanda wa Kamanda, indicating that the legal institutions of Zaire, in particular the Zairian President Mobutu Sese Seko and the Zairian Government, represented by the Prime Minister, Leon Kengo wa Dondo, had accepted the five-point peace plan.

The meeting, which began at 7:07 p.m. was adjourned at 7:13 p.m.

Presidential Statement

The full text of the presidential statement, which will be issued as PRST/1997/11, is as follows:

"The Security Council expresses its grave concern at the deteriorating situation in the Great Lakes region, in particular in eastern Zaire. It underlines the urgent need for a comprehensive and coordinated response by the international community in support of the efforts of the joint United Nations/Organization of African Unity (OAU) Special Representative for the Great Lakes Region to prevent any further escalation of the crisis there.

"The Security Council reiterates, in that respect, its full support for the five-point peace plan for eastern Zaire contained in its resolution 1097 (1997) of 18 February 1997 and welcomes the endorsement of the plan by the OAU at its sixty-fifth ordinary session of the Council of Ministers held in Tripoli from 24 to 28 February 1997.

"The Security Council welcomes the declaration of the Government of Zaire of 5 March 1997 (S/1997/197, annex) regarding its acceptance of the United Nations peace plan endorsed by the Security Council in its resolution 1097 (1997).

"The Security Council calls upon the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo/Zaire to declare publicly their acceptance of resolution 1097 (1997) in all its provisions, in particular an immediate

Security Council - 3 - Press Release SC/6336 3748th Meeting (Night) 7 March 1997

cessation of hostilities, and calls on all parties to implement its provisions without delay.

"The Security Council is concerned about the effect which the continued fighting is having on the refugees and inhabitants of the region and calls upon all parties to allow access by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and humanitarian agencies to refugees and displaced persons and to guarantee the safety of refugees and displaced persons as well as United Nations and humanitarian aid workers. It also takes note with concern of allegations of violations of international humanitarian law in the conflict zone and welcomes the sending of a United Nations fact-finding mission to the area.

"The Security Council reiterates is full support for the joint United Nations/OAU Special Representative for the Great Lakes Region and urges all governments in the region and all the parties concerned to cooperate with him fully. It also urges the parties to the conflict to begin, under his auspices, a dialogue in order to achieve a lasting political settlement.

"The Security Council welcomes all efforts, including those of the organizations and States of the region, aimed at resolving the crisis, including the initiative of President Daniel arap Moi of Kenya to convene another regional meeting in Nairobi on 19 March 1997 and the initiative of the OAU to organize a summit of the members of the central organ of the OAU Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution on the Great Lakes region in Lome before the end of March 1997. The Council encourages other facilitators and representatives of the regional organizations, including the European Union and the States concerned, to coordinate closely their efforts with those of the Special Representative.

"The Security Council reaffirms the importance of holding an international conference on peace, security and development in the Great Lakes region under the auspices of the United Nations and the OAU.

"The Security Council expresses its gratitude to the Secretary-General for keeping it informed of developments in the Great Lakes region and requests him to continue to do so on a regular basis.

"The Security Council will remain actively seized of the matter."

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For information media. Not an official record.