SECURITY COUNCIL, UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTING RESOLUTION 1332 (2000), EXTENDS DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO MISSION UNTIL 15 JUNE

14 December 2000
SC/6975

SECURITY COUNCIL, UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTING RESOLUTION 1332 (2000), EXTENDS DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO MISSION UNTIL 15 JUNE

14/12/2000
Press ReleaseSC/6975

Security Council

4247th Meeting (AM)

SECURITY COUNCIL, UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTING RESOLUTION 1332 (2000),

EXTENDS DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO MISSION UNTIL 15 JUNE

Foreign Minister of Democratic Republic of Congo

Stresses Need for Closer Involvement by Secretary-General

Unanimouslyadopting resolution 1332 (2000) this morning, the Security Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) until 15 June 2001.

The Council also endorsed the Secretary-General's proposal to deploy additional military observers to monitor and verify the parties' implementation of the ceasefire and disengagement plans adopted in Maputo and Lusaka.  It expressed its readiness to support the Secretary-General in the deployment of infantry units in support of the military observers in Kisangani and Mbandaka and, subject to his proposals on ways to address the situation in the country's eastern provinces, to other areas, including Goma and Bukavu.

In addition, the Council requested the Secretary-General to submit detailed proposals on the establishment of a permanent follow-up mechanism which could address the full withdrawal of foreign forces, the disarmament and demobilization of armed groups, the security of the country's borders with Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi, the return of refugees and internally displaced persons in safety, the inter-Congolese dialogue and regional economic reconstruction and cooperation.

By other terms of the resolution, the Council called for the withdrawal of Ugandan and Rwandan, and all other foreign forces, from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in compliance with resolution 1304 (2000) and the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement.  It urged those forces to take urgent steps to accelerate their withdrawal.

The Council also called on all parties to the conflict to cooperate in taking forward disarmament, demobilization, reintegration, repatriation/settlement of all armed groups referred to in the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement, in particular the Burundian Front pour la Défense de la Démocratie (FDD), the Rwandan

ex-FAR/Interahamwe and the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).

Also by the terms of the resolution, the Council called on all Congolese parties to cooperate fully in the inter-Congolese dialogue, as called for in the Lusaka Agreement.

Gravely concerned by the continued recruitment and use of child soldiers by armed forces and groups, the Council further called all armed forces and groups to immediately cease all campaigns for recruitments, abduction, cross-border deportation and use of children.  It demanded immediate steps for the demobilization, disarmament, return and rehabilitation of all such children with the assistance of the relevant United Nations and other agencies and organizations.

Expressing its concern over the humanitarian situation, mainly resulting from the conflict, and the need for increased humanitarian assistance to the Congolese population, the Council stressed the need to strengthen the human rights component of MONUC and requested the Secretary-General to take appropriate measures to that end.

Calling on all parties to fully implement their commitments under the Lusaka Agreement, the Council again expressed its readiness to consider measures which could be imposed under the United Nations Charter, in case of their failure to comply fully with the current resolution.  

Addressing the Council prior to adopting the resolution, Léonard She Okitundu, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, stressed the importance of closer involvement by the Secretary-General, with the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and regional leaders, in African initiatives to relaunch the peace process.  Such initiatives had the double advantage of responding to the security concerns of Rwanda and Uganda, while restoring the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  The Congolese Government supported the deployment of a neutral buffer force along its borders with Rwanda and Uganda and was working to facilitate that task for MONUC by guaranteeing it freedom of movement throughout its territory.

Regarding the inter-Congolese dialogue, he said President Laurent Kabila had met with the internal unarmed opposition at the beginning of the month, opening the way for a further meeting between the Government and the entire Congolese opposition later this month at Libreville, Gabon.  A truly viable Congolese dialogue could only be held in the absence of all interference by Rwanda and Uganda, which, totalitarian as they were, did not qualify to promote the democratization process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Prior to action on the resolution, Council President Sergey Lavrov (Russian Federation) made a statement welcoming the decision by the Government of Ukraine to close the Chernobyl nuclear plant on 15 December.

The meeting, which began at 11:05 a.m., adjourned at 11:30 a.m.

Council Work Programme

The Security Council met this morning to consider the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  The Council had before it the fifth report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) (document S/2000/1156), in which he recommends the extension of MONUC’s mandate for a further six months, until 15 June 2001.

He further recommends the deployment of additional military observers, accompanied by the necessary medical, aviation, riverine and logistical support units to monitor and verify implementation of the ceasefire and disengagement plans adopted at Maputo and Lusaka.  As at 1 December, MONUC had a total of

224 liaison officers and military observers.  A deployment of this kind could be effected within the Mission's current mandate.  The observers would monitor and verify implementation of the 9 April Kampala disengagement plan, including the disengagement of forces to brigade level, their redeployment and their eventual withdrawal from the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo; monitor the demilitarization of Kisangani; investigate and verify allegations of ceasefire violations; maintain effective contact with the parties; assist the parties in the conduct of their Joint Military Commission's activities; and ensure the provision of the necessary information to the Secretary-General and to the Security Council through MONUC.

The Secretary-General states he would be prepared to recommend that infantry units be deployed in support of the military observers.  He will submit an updated concept of operations, taking into account developments on the ground and the precise nature of the tasks that the troops would realistically be able to perform.  He has requested the Secretariat to continue to liaise closely with potential troop-contributing countries to ascertain their continued readiness to provide the necessary personnel and specialized units.

At the same time, he continues, there needs to be broader agreement on unresolved key questions, including the withdrawal of foreign forces; the disarmament and demobilization of armed groups; the security of the borders of Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi with the Democratic Republic of the Congo; the safe return of refugees; inter-Congolese dialogue; and regional economic reconstruction and cooperation.  He suggests building on the recent diplomatic initiatives and providing a framework for their follow-up.  He is currently considering what the United Nations could do to help achieve such a result.

He goes on to say that, despite substantial compliance with the ceasefire in most parts of the country, fighting has occurred in Equateur and Katanga provinces, complicating and imperilling ongoing peace efforts.  The fighting threatened to spill over into neighbouring countries.  At the same time, the highly volatile environment in the Kivus, marked by frequent and violent attacks by the non-signatory armed groups, has continued to be a most serious concern.

Although the situation around Kisangani has shown some improvement, Council demands for the immediate withdrawal of Rwandan and Ugandan forces has yet to be implemented in full.  A number of other Council demands, including cooperation with the deployment of MONUC and full engagement in the national dialogue process, also have yet to be met.

The report, which contains a summary of recent events and an analysis of what the parties have done in the past two months to facilitate the deployment of MONUC, draws attention to considerable high-level diplomatic activity, indicating the willingness of subregional leaders to find ways of moving the peace process forward.  The Secretary-General met with ambassadors of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), who expressed disappointment at the lack of progress in the peace process and their concern that the possible termination of MONUC would have ominous consequences for the African continent.  They felt that the Secretary-General should become more directly involved in the peace efforts and suggested a visit to the region.  The SADC ambassadors also felt that the Council should remain involved in the search for a resolution of the conflict.  They considered the Council to be over-cautious in expecting standards not demanded in other areas.

Following a mini-summit meeting at Tripoli to address the situation in the Great Lakes region, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in particular, Libyan President Muammar Qaddafi suggested that Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa and Libya should participate in a neutral force and proposed that the United Nations should undertake the leadership, funding and supervision of those forces.

The Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has continued in its rejection of the neutral facilitator of the inter-Congolese dialogue, Sir Ketumile Masire, announcing that it might "take action" against Sir Ketumile should he continue to call for the convening of the inter-Congolese dialogue, the report says.  The Government believes that the negotiations are an attempt to agree on a new constitution and an electoral commission, not to achieve transitional power-sharing arrangements.  By contrast, the rebel movements have continued to support inter-Congolese dialogue, as provided by the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement, and for Sir Ketumile Masire as the neutral facilitator.  Both the Mouvement de libération du Congo (MLC) and the Rassemblement congolais pour la démocratie (RCD) have rejected approaches from the Government to engage in political negotiations through the medium of committees drawn from the Constituent Assembly.

The Governments of the Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic continue to be concerned that fighting in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, especially in the border areas, has affected their countries, the report says.  In particular, large numbers of refugees continue to enter both countries and vital maritime traffic on the Ubangui River has been interrupted, causing heavy economic losses.  The highly volatile confrontations between the belligerent parties present the most serious threat to MONUC personnel.  On the other hand, the report says, the inflammatory propaganda campaign conducted in some

pro-Government media in Kinshasa against MONUC has abated following a United Nations protest against the campaign and request for restraint.

The report states that the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has yet to replace the system of flight notification and clearance on a case-by-case basis with a system for advance notification en bloc, an arrangement essential to the management of the large fleet of aircraft that would be required for MONUC phase II deployment.  Notwithstanding this, there has been a marked relaxation in other restrictions, in particular lifting the obligation to land at a neutral airport during a return trip from rebel-controlled areas.  Improved cooperation has also been facilitated by the decision of the SADC allies to appoint a special representative at Kinshasa, whose mandate includes the promotion of relations between the SADC allies and MONUC with regard to the peace process and the deployment of United Nations peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has continued to deteriorate.  There are approximately 2 million displaced persons with less than one half receiving humanitarian assistance.  In addition, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reports that there are 100,000 Congolese refugees in the Congo and as many as 20,000 may have fled to the Central African Republic.  Humanitarian assistance could not reach a significant proportion of these refugees.  The MONUC has agreed to support efforts to gain access and deliver assistance to them.  The number of persons in critical need of food in the Democratic Republic of the Congo remains at an estimated 16 million, or roughly 33 per cent of the country's population.  The health situation in the country has also continued to decline, with less than 37 per cent of the population having access to essential medical facilities.

On 4 and 5 October, the report says, inter-agency and donor country meetings called for enhanced coordination and stressed the need to allocate more resources to existing humanitarian projects, the need to reach more people through a more flexible humanitarian action response with the objective of saving more lives, and the need to increase the capacity of international humanitarian agencies working in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to manage an enhanced response.  The consolidated appeal for the Democratic Republic of the Congo for 2001 was launched at the end of November; $139.5 million was requested to address the critical humanitarian needs of the war-affected populations.

The human rights situation throughout the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo continued to give cause for grave concern, the report says. Arbitrary arrests, illegal detention, forced deportation and ill-treatment have been used to harass and intimidate the population, human rights groups, church associations and non-governmental organizations.  In addition, the dire economic situation has led soldiers and gangs of armed men to resort to extortion and looting, thus creating an atmosphere of insecurity and terror among vulnerable groups.

The report observes that recent months have seen an increase in leadership struggles in the rebel movements, rising inter-ethnic rivalries and increasing resentment among Congolese ethnic groups vis-à-vis the Tutsi in general.  There has also been a marked increase in the number of warlords in remote areas who have engaged in a pattern of systematically destroying the institutions of civil society, and manipulating the regions' clan system and ethnic groups against each other.  The Mayi-Mayi militia and predominantly Hutu armed groups have continued to commit widespread human rights abuses.  In this context, the high incidence of murder of women and children of Rwandan origin should be noted.

The prohibition of political parties continues, with only those parties newly registered with the Government being allowed to function, according to the report.  Although the Ministry of Information announced its intention to introduce a law abolishing imprisonment for press offences, journalists and human rights activists continue to suffer attacks, intimidation and imprisonment.

The situation of children has continued to be of serious concern, the report says.  Between 15 and 30 per cent of newly recruited combatants are children under 18 years of age, with a substantial number less than 12 years old.  President Laurent Kabila signed a decree on 6 June ordering the demobilization and reintegration of vulnerable groups, including child soldiers, but no substantial progress has been recorded.

According to the report, the Secretary-General has established a panel of experts on the illegal exploitation of natural resources and other forms of wealth of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  The Nairobi-based panel has undertaken extensive consultations with the parties and visits within the region.

In April, the General Assembly granted the Secretary-General $200 million to cover the Mission's immediate requirements and to enable it to initiate logistical preparations for the phased deployment of the formed military personnel.  Subsequently, the Assembly authorized the Secretary-General to use, during the period beginning 1 July, the amount of $141.3 million   As at 15 November, unpaid assessed contributions to the MONUC special account amounted to $90.8 million.

The Council also had before it a 13 December letter from the Permanent Representative of Rwanda to the President of the Security Council (document S/2000/1186) concerning the disarming and repatriation of former Rwandan Armed Forces (FAR) and Interahamwe forces currently in Zambia, after having fled from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  Those forces were not bona fide refugees, the letter states, but armed forces that should not be permitted to return to the Democratic Republic.  “We strongly wish to see out nationals disarmed, demobilized and repatriated to Rwanda”, where they will be treated and reintegrated like others who have surrendered.  Those suspected of having participated in the 1994 genocide could be sent directly to the International Criminal Tribunal in Arusha, United Republic of Tanzania.

Draft Resolution

The Council also had before it a draft resolution (document S/2000/1182) which reads as follows:

The Security Council,

Recalling its resolutions 1234 (1999) of 9 April 1999, 1258 (1999) of

6 August 1999, 1265 (1999) of 17 September 1999, 1273 (1999) of 5 November 1999, 1279 (1999) of 30 November 1999, 1291 (2000) of 24 February 2000, 1296 (2000) of 19 April 2000, 1304 (2000) of 15 June 2000 and 1323 (2000) of 13 October 2000, and the statements of its President of 13 July 1998 (S/PRST/1998/20), 31 August 1998 (S/PRST/1998/26), 11 December 1998 (S/PRST/1998/36), 24 June 1999 (S/PRST/1999/17), 26 January 2000 (S/PRST/2000/2), 5 May 2000 (S/PRST/2000/15),

2 June 2000 (S/PRST/2000/20), 7 September 2000 (S/PRST/2000/28),

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

Reaffirming the obligation of all States to refrain from the use of force against the territorial integrity and political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations,

Reaffirming also the sovereignty of the Democratic Republic of Congo over its natural resources, and noting with concern reports of the illegal exploitation of the country’s assets and the potential consequences of these actions on security conditions and the continuation of hostilities,

Deploring the continuation of hostilities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the numerous ceasefire violations, and the lack of progress on the Inter-Congolese Dialogue,

Reaffirming its support for the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement (S/1999/815),

Welcoming the agreements reached at Maputo on 27 November 2000 concerning the disengagement of forces, as well as the signing of the Harare Agreement, pursuant to the Kampala disengagement plan,

Taking note of recent statements, assurances and actions of the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo supporting the deployment of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) and expressing the hope that the practical measures necessary to facilitate the full deployment of MONUC will be taken accordingly,

Recalling the responsibilities of all parties to cooperate in the full deployment of MONUC,

Taking note with appreciation of the Secretary-General’s report of 6 December 2000 (S/2000/1156) and its recommendations,

Recalling the responsibility of all parties to the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo for ensuring the safety and security of United Nations military and civilian staff and associated personnel throughout the country,

Expressing its serious concern over the humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo mainly resulting from the conflict, and stressing the need for increased humanitarian assistance to the Congolese population,

Expressing also its serious concern over the severe political, economic and humanitarian consequences of the conflict on the neighbouring countries,

Expressing its alarm at the dire consequences of the prolonged conflict for the civilian population throughout the territory of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and its deep concern at all violations and abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law, including atrocities against civilian populations, especially in the eastern provinces,

Deeply concerned at the increased rate of HIV/AIDS infection in particular amongst women and girls as result of the conflict,

Gravely concerned by the continued recruitment and use of child soldiers by armed forces and groups, including cross-border recruitment and abduction of children,

Expressing serious concern over the difficulties, including those created by continued hostilities, faced by humanitarian agencies in delivering assistance to a large number of refugees and internally displaced persons,

Commending the outstanding work of MONUC personnel in challenging conditions, and noting the strong leadership of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General,

Welcoming the diplomatic initiatives by African leaders and stressing the need for a coordinated approach involving the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity (OAU) to create new momentum for further progress in the peace process,

“1.   Decides to extend the mandate of MONUC until 15 June 2001;

“2.   Calls on all parties to the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement to cease hostilities and to continue to intensify their dialogue to implement this agreement, as well as the Kampala, Maputo and Harare Agreements, and to take additional steps, within the framework of these Agreements, to accelerate the peace process;

“3.   Calls on all parties, and in particular the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, to continue to cooperate in the deployment and operations of MONUC, including through full implementation of the provisions of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA);

“4.   Endorses the proposal made by the Secretary-General to deploy, as soon as he considers that conditions will allow it and in accordance with the relevant provisions of resolution 1291, additional military observers, in order to monitor and verify the parties’ implementation of the ceasefire and disengagement plans adopted in Maputo and Lusaka;

“5.   Invites the Secretary-General to consult OAU and all parties concerned on the possibility of organizing in February a follow-up meeting between the signatories of the Lusaka Agreement and the members of the Security Council;

“6.   Requests in that connection the Secretary-General to present to the Security Council, prior to the convening of the meeting suggested in paragraph 5 above, a review of the implementation of the current mandate of MONUC, including an assessment of the implementation by the parties of the ceasefire and disengagement plans and elements for an updated concept of operation;

“7.   Requests the Secretary-General to submit in that report proposals to the Security Council on ways to address the situation in the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo, including in the areas bordering Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi;

“8.   Expresses its readiness to support the Secretary-General, as soon as he considers that conditions allow it, in the deployment of infantry units in support of the military observers in Kisangani and Mbandaka in due course and, subject to the proposals submitted by him under paragraph 7 above, to other areas he may deem necessary, including possibly to Goma or Bukavu;

“9.   Further requests the Secretary-General to submit to the Council, in consultation with all parties concerned, detailed proposals concerning the establishment of a permanent follow-up mechanism which could address in consultation with existing mechanisms in an integrated and coordinated manner the issues of the full withdrawal of foreign forces, the disarmament and demobilization of armed groups, the security of the borders of the Democratic Republic of Congo with Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi, the return of refugees and internally displaced persons in safety, the inter-Congolese dialogue and regional economic reconstruction and cooperation;

“10.  Calls for the withdrawal of Ugandan and Rwandan forces, and of all other foreign forces, from the territory of the Democratic Republic of Congo in compliance with resolution 1304 (2000) of 16 June 2000 and the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement, and urges the forces to take urgent steps to accelerate this withdrawal;

“11.  Calls on all the parties to the conflict to cooperate in taking forward the disarmament, demobilization, reintegration, repatriation/resettlement of all armed groups referred to in Annex A, Chapter 9.1 of the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement, in particular the Burundian Front pour la Défense de la Démocratie (FDD), the Rwandan ex-FAR/Interahamwe and the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF);

“12.  Calls on all Congolese parties concerned to cooperate fully in the inter-Congolese dialogue as called for in the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement;

“13.  Reiterates its call on all parties to the conflict, including all armed groups referred to in Annex A, Chapter 9.1 of the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement, to take immediate steps to prevent human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law and to ensure safe and unhindered access to humanitarian personnel for providing assistance to all those in need, including the refugees and the internally displaced persons;

“14.  Calls on all armed forces and groups to immediately cease all campaigns for recruitments, recruitment, abduction, cross-border deportation and use of children, and demands immediate steps for demobilization, disarmament, return and rehabilitation of all such children with the assistance of relevant United Nations and other agencies and organizations;

“15.  Stresses the need to strengthen the human rights component of MONUC and requests the Secretary-General to take appropriate measures to that end, including through active cooperation and coordination with the United Nations Human Rights Commission in a country-wide effort;

“16.  Calls once again on all the parties to the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo and others concerned to cooperate fully with the expert panel on the illegal exploitation of natural resources and other forms of wealth of the Democratic Republic of Congo (S/PRST/2000/20) in its investigation and visits in the region;

“17.  Calls on all parties to fully implement their commitments under the Lusaka Agreement;

“18.  Expresses again its readiness to consider possible measures which could be imposed in accordance with its responsibility and obligation under the Charter of the United Nations in case of failure by parties to comply fully with this resolution;

“19.  Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”

Statements

      Security Council President SERGEY LAVROV (Russian Federation) said he welcomed the decision of the Government of Ukraine to close the Chernobyl nuclear plant on 15 December.  While it was a difficult decision, it was an important contribution to regional and global nuclear safety.  It was a significant step towards ameliorating the destructive consequences of the Chernobyl catastrophe and in the interest of all the countries affected by it.  He stressed the importance of the international community's ongoing support and assistance for Ukraine's efforts in solving the environmental and socio-economic problems associated with the disaster.

LÉONARD SHE OKITUNDU, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, recalling recent diplomatic initiatives undertaken by African heads of State to relaunch the Lusaka process, emphasized the importance of immediate disengagement, followed by the withdrawal of Rwandan and Ugandan troops.  It was possible that forces opposed to peaceful means could deliberately create insecurity in the border areas, so as to delay the deployment of neutral observers and United Nations troops.

It was vital that the Secretary-General become more closely involved, with the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and regional leaders, in African initiatives to relaunch the peace process, he said.  Such initiatives had the double advantage of responding to the security concerns of Rwanda and Uganda, while restoring the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

He said it would be militarily impossible to undertake the disarmament of armed groups in the presence of Rwandan and Ugandan troops, who may be tempted to take reprisals against Congolese civilians legitimately defending themselves against the occupation of their territory.  For that reason, the Democratic Republic of the Congo supported the deployment of a neutral buffer force along the common borders.  The Government was working to facilitate that task for MONUC by guaranteeing it freedom of movement throughout its territory.

Beyond that, he went on, the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo would commit itself to collaborate with MONUC for the rapid deployment of United Nations troops.  Rwanda and Uganda were invited to do the same, in accordance with Security Council resolution 1304 (2000) of 16 June, which demanded that Ugandan and Rwandan forces withdraw immediately and completely from Kisangani and respect the demilitarization of that city and its environs.

Regarding the inter-Congolese dialogue, he said President Laurent Kabila  had met with the internal unarmed opposition at the beginning of the month, opening the way for a further meeting between the Government and the entire

Congolese opposition later this month at Libreville, Gabon.  A truly viable Congolese dialogue could only be held in the absence of all interference by Rwanda and Uganda, which, totalitarian as they were, did not qualify to promote the democratization process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Council then unanimously adopted resolution 1332 (2000).

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For information media. Not an official record.