SECURITY COUNCIL WELCOMES AGREED MEETING BETWEEN PRESIDENT OF ZAIR

30 April 1997
SC/6365

SECURITY COUNCIL WELCOMES AGREED MEETING BETWEEN PRESIDENT OF ZAIR

Security Council                                            SC/6365

3773rd Meeting (Night)                                      30 April 1997

SECURITY COUNCIL WELCOMES AGREED MEETING BETWEEN PRESIDENT OF ZAIRE

     AND LEADER OF ADFL TO DISCUSS NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT OF CONFLICT

             Presidential Statement Calls for Immediate Cessation

            Of Hostilities, Rapid Agreement on Democratic Elections

The Security Council this evening welcomed today's agreement by the President of Zaire and the leader of the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo/Zaire (ADFL) on a meeting to discuss a peaceful negotiated settlement of the conflict there and called for an immediate cessation of hostilities.

Through a statement read out by its President, Antonio Monteiro (Portugal), the Council especially called for rapid agreement on peaceful transitional arrangements leading to the holding of democratic and free elections with the participation of all parties.

The Council expressed concern at reports of the obstruction of humanitarian assistance efforts and called on the ADFL to abide by its commitment to allow United Nations and other humanitarian agencies access to refugees in eastern Zaire and to enable the repatriation plan of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to be implemented without conditions or delay.

Deeply concerned at reports of massacres, other atrocities andviolations of international humanitarian law in eastern Zaire, the Council reiterated its call upon the ADFL and others concerned to ensure unimpeded access by the United Nations investigative mission to all areas and sites under investigation, as well as the security of its members.  It attached importance to the ADFL leader's commitment to take appropriate action against Alliance members who violated international humanitarian law on the treatment of refugees and civilians.

The Council reaffirmed its full support for the United Nations peace plan for Zaire.  Contained in its resolution 1097 (1997), that plan calls for protection and security for all refugees and displaced persons and for the rapid and peaceful settlement of the crisis in the region through dialogue, the electoral process and the convening of an international conference on peace, security and development in the Great Lakes region.

Security Council                    - 2 -             Press Release SC/6365

3773rd Meeting (Night)                                30 April 1997

The full text of the presidential statement, to be issued as document S/PRST/1997/24, reads as follows:

"The Security Council reaffirms the statement of its President of

24 April 1997 (S/PRST/1997/22) and welcomes the recent agreement by the President of Zaire and the leader of the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo/Zaire (ADFL) on a time and venue for a meeting to discuss a peaceful and negotiated settlement of the conflict in Zaire.  It reiterates its full support for the United Nations five-point peace plan, endorsed by its resolution 1097 (1997) of 18 February 1997, calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities, and especially calls for both parties to reach a rapid agreement on peaceful transitional arrangements leading to the holding of democratic and free elections with the participation of all parties.

"The Security Council notes the commitment by the leader of the ADFL to allow United Nations and other humanitarian agencies access to refugees in eastern Zaire in order to provide humanitarian assistance and to implement the repatriation plan of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), including the use of both airports in Kisangani.  It also notes his commitment to be flexible regarding the duration of the repatriation operation, which should move ahead as quickly as possible.  It expresses concern at reports of obstruction of humanitarian assistance efforts but notes that humanitarian access has improved recently.  It calls on the ADFL to abide by these commitments and to enable the UNHCR repatriation plan to be implemented without conditions or delay.

"The Security Council also expresses its deep concern regarding the continuing reports of massacres, other atrocities and violations of international humanitarian law in eastern Zaire.  In this context, it reiterates its call upon the ADFL and others concerned in the region to cooperate fully with the recently established United Nations investigative mission by ensuring unimpeded access to all areas and sites under investigation, as well as the security of the members of the mission.  It attaches great importance to the commitment of the leader of the ADFL to take appropriate action against members of the ADFL who violate the rules of international humanitarian law concerning the treatment of refugees and civilians.

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

The meeting, which was called to order at 10:54 p.m., was adjourned at 10:58 p.m.

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For information media. Not an official record.