SECURITY COUNCIL DECIDES TO ESTABLISH UNITED NATIONS OBSERVER MISSION IN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

30 November 1999
SC/6766

SECURITY COUNCIL DECIDES TO ESTABLISH UNITED NATIONS OBSERVER MISSION IN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

30 November 1999

Press ReleaseSC/6766

SECURITY COUNCIL DECIDES TO ESTABLISH UNITED NATIONS OBSERVER MISSION IN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

19991130

Unanimous Resolution 1279 (1999) Asks Secretary-General, Acting On Earlier Decisions, to Equip MONUC With Team of up to 500 Personnel

The Security Council this evening established the United Nations Observer Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC). The Mission will be composed of personnel authorized earlier under resolutions 1258 (1999) and 1273 (1999), including a multidisciplinary staff of personnel in the fields of human rights, humanitarian affairs, public information, medical support, child protection, political affairs and administrative support personnel, which will assist the Special Representative for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, until 1 March 2000.

As the Council voted unanimously this evening to adopt resolution 1279 (1999), it requested the Secretary-General, with immediate effect, to take the administrative steps necessary to equip up to 500 United Nations military observers with a view to facilitating future rapid United Nations deployments as authorized by the Council.

Under the terms of the resolution, the Council decided that MONUC, led by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, shall establish contacts with the signatories of the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement; liaise with the Joint Military Commission; and provide technical assistance in the implementation of its functions under the Ceasefire Agreement, including in the investigation of ceasefire violations; and provide information on security conditions in all areas of its operation, with emphasis on local conditions affecting future decisions on the introduction of United Nations personnel.

The Mission will also be charged with planning for the observation of the ceasefire and disengagement of forces, and providing liaison services to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance to displaced persons, refugees, children and other affected persons, and to assist in the protection of human rights including the rights of children.

Also by resolution, the Council underlined that the phased deployment of the United Nations military observers, with the necessary support and protection elements in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, will be subject to its further decision. The Council expressed its intention to take such a decision promptly on the basis of further recommendations of the Secretary-General, taking into account the findings of the technical assessment team.

Security Council - 1a - Press Release SC/6766 4076th Meeting (PM) 30 November 1999

The Council also requested the Secretary-General to keep it regularly informed and to report to it as soon as possible on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and submit his recommendations on further deployment of United Nations personnel in the country and on their protection.

The meeting, which began at 6:25 p.m., was adjourned at 6:29p.m

Resolution

The full text of resolution 1279 (1999) reads as follows:

“The Security Council,

“Recalling its resolutions 1234 (1999) of 9 April 1999, 1258 (1999) of 6 August 1999 and 1273 (1999) of 5 November 1999 and the statements of its President of 31 August 1998 (S/PRST/1998/26), 11 December 1998 (S/PRST/1998/36) and 24 June 1999 (S/PRST/1999/17),

“Bearing in mind the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and the primary responsibility of the Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security,

“Reaffirming the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and all States in the region,

“Reaffirming also that the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement (S/1999/815) represents the most viable basis for a resolution of the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and noting the role it requests the United Nations to play in the implementation of the ceasefire,

“Expressing its concern at the alleged violations of the Ceasefire Agreement and urging all parties to refrain from any declarations or action that could jeopardize the peace process,

“Stressing the responsibilities of the signatories for the implementation of the Ceasefire Agreement, and calling on them to permit and facilitate the full deployment of United Nations military liaison officers and other personnel necessary for the fulfilment of their mandate throughout the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo,

“Welcoming the pledges of support made to the Joint Military Commission (JMC) by States and organizations, and calling on others to contribute, together with the signatories to the Ceasefire Agreement, to the funding of the body,

“Noting with concern the humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and calling on all Member States to contribute to current and future consolidated humanitarian appeals,

“Expressing its concern at the severe consequences of the conflict for the security and well-being of the civilian population throughout the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo,

“Expressing also its concern at the adverse impact of the conflict on the human rights situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, particularly in the eastern parts of the country, and the continuing violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed throughout the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo,

“Having considered the recommendations of the Secretary-General contained in his report of 1 November 1999 (S/1999/1116),

“Reiterating the importance of the successful completion of the mission of the technical assessment team dispatched to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to assess conditions and to prepare for possible subsequent United Nations deployment in the country as well as to obtain firm guarantees from the parties to the conflict over the safety, security and freedom of movement of United Nations and associated personnel,

“Recalling the relevant principles contained in the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel adopted on 9 December 1994,

“Underlining the importance of the full deployment of the United Nations military liaison personnel as provided for by resolution 1258 (1999),

“1. Calls upon all parties to the conflict to cease hostilities, to implement fully the provisions of the Ceasefire Agreement, and to use the JMC to resolve disputes over military issues;

“2. Stresses the need for a continuing process of genuine national reconciliation, encourages all Congolese to participate in the national dialogue to be organized in coordination with the Organization of African Unity (OAU), and calls upon all Congolese parties and the OAU to finalize agreement on the facilitator for the national dialogue;

“3. Welcomes the appointment by the Secretary-General of his Special Representative for the Democratic Republic of the Congo to serve as the head of the United Nations presence in the subregion relating to the peace process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and to provide assistance in the implementation of the Ceasefire Agreement;

“4. Decides that the personnel authorized under its resolutions 1258(1999) and 1273 (1999), including a multidisciplinary staff of personnel in the fields of human rights, humanitarian affairs, public information, medical support, child protection, political affairs and administrative support, which will assist the Special Representative, shall constitute the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) until 1 March 2000;

“5. Decides also that MONUC, led by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, consistent with resolutions 1258 (1999) and 1273 (1999), shall carry out the following ongoing tasks: “(a) To establish contacts with the signatories to the Ceasefire Agreement at their headquarters levels, as well as in the capitals of the States signatories;

“(b) To liaise with the JMC and provide technical assistance in the implementation of its functions under the Ceasefire Agreement, including in the investigation of ceasefire violations;

“(c) To provide information on security conditions in all areas of its operation, with emphasis on local conditions affecting future decisions on the introduction of United Nations personnel;

“(d) To plan for the observation of the ceasefire and disengagement of forces;

“(e) To maintain liaison with all parties to the Ceasefire Agreement to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance to displaced persons, refugees, children and other affected persons, and assist in the protection of human rights, including the rights of children;

“6. Underlines that the phased deployment of United Nations military observers with the necessary support and protection elements in the Democratic Republic of the Congo will be subject to its further decision, and expresses its intention to take such a decision promptly on the basis of further recommendations of the Secretary-General, taking into account the findings of the technical assessment team;

“7. Requests the Secretary-General to accelerate the development of a concept of operations based on assessed conditions of security, access and freedom of movement and cooperation on the part of the signatories to the Ceasefire Agreement;

“8. Requests the Secretary-General to keep it regularly informed and to report to it as soon as possible on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and submit his recommendations on further deployment of United Nations personnel in the country and on their protection;

“9. Requests the Secretary-General, with immediate effect, to take the administrative steps necessary for the equipping of up to 500 United Nations military observers with a view to facilitating future rapid United Nations deployments as authorized by the Council;

“10. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Secretary-General’s Report

At a meeting on 5 November, the Security Council extended until 15 January 2000 the mandate of the 90 United Nations military-liaison personnel deployed to assist the peace process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It took that action in response to a recommendation contained in a report of the Secretary-General, in which he also requested prior authorization for establishing MONUC and the deployment of 500 military observers, once security guarantees had been established (document S/1999/1116 and Corr. 1). (For further details of the report see Press Release SC/6748 of 5 November)

In an earlier report (document S/1999/790), issued 7 July 1999, the Secretary-General had stated that the observers would be deployed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and, as required, to the belligerent and other neighbouring States. Its tasks would be in accordance with the peacekeeping functions listed in the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement and would supplement those already being performed by the military liaison officers. They would include the following: to establish contacts with the various parties at their headquarters locations; to strengthen liaison with the Joint Military Commission; to assist the Joint Military Commission and the parties investigating alleged violations of the ceasefire; and to make a general security assessment of the country.

The Mission should also secure guarantees of cooperation and assurance of security for the further deployment in-country of United Nations personnel, determine the present and likely future locations of the forces of all parties to refine and finalize the concept for deployment of the United Nations military personnel and observe, subject to security arrangements, the ceasefire and disengagement of the forces and their redeployment and eventual withdrawal. Further, the mission would facilitate the provision of humanitarian assistance and protection for displaced persons, refugees, children and other affected persons. They would also assist and protect human rights and child protection officers in the performance of their duties.

In August, by resolution 1258 (1999), the Council originally authorized the deployment of the military-liaison personnel to the capitals of the six States that had signed the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement -– the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, Namibia, Rwanda, Uganda and Zimbabwe –- as well as to the provisional headquarters of the Joint Military Commission established by the Agreement, and the rear headquarters of the main belligerents in the Democratic Republic.

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For information media. Not an official record.