SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS MISSION IN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO UNTIL 30 JUNE 2003, UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTING RESOLUTION 1417 (2002)

14 June 2002
SC/7425

SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS MISSION IN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO UNTIL 30 JUNE 2003, UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTING RESOLUTION 1417 (2002)

14/06/2002
Press ReleaseSC/7425

Security Council

4554th Meeting* (AM)

SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS MISSION IN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

UNTIL 30 JUNE 2003, UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTING RESOLUTION 1417 (2002)

The Security Council this morning extended the mandate of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) until 30 June 2003.

By unanimously adopting resolution 1417 (2002), the Council also called upon Member States to contribute personnel to enable MONUC to reach its authorized strength of 5,537, including observers, within the planned time frame.  By other terms of the resolution, in addition to reiterating its full support for the peacekeeping activities of MONUC, the Council supported the Mission's role in disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, resettlement and reintegration.

In addition, by other terms, the Council requested the Mission to deploy, expeditiously, an additional 85 police trainers to Kisangani, once the necessary security conditions are determined to be in place.

By further terms, the Council demanded that the Rassemblement Congolais pour la Démocratie-Goma (RCD-Goma) fully cooperate with MONUC in the implementation of its mandate, urging Rwanda to exert its influence on that group to elicit such cooperation.  Also demanding the demilitarization of Kisangani, it condemned the ethnic violence that took place in that area in May and reiterated that it held the RCD-Goma responsible for human rights violations there, as it was the de facto authority.

The meeting, which began at 11:23 a.m., adjourned at 11:29 a.m.

Resolution

The text of the resolution reads, as follows:

The Security Council,

Recalling its previous resolutions and statements by its President regarding the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in particular resolution 1355 of 15 June 2001,

__________

*     The 4553rd meeting was closed.

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

Reaffirming further 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 and principles of the United Nations,

Reaffirming also the sovereignty of the Democratic Republic of the Congo over its natural resources, and, in this respect, looking forward to receiving the report by the Panel of Experts on the illegal exploitation of natural resources and other forms of wealth of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the link between the exploitation and the continuation of the conflict,

Recalling the responsibilities of all parties to cooperate in the full deployment of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC),

Acknowledging the positive role of the Facilitator and of the President of South Africa in the conduct of the Inter-Congolese Dialogue in Sun City, South Africa,

Taking note of the idea of a curtain of troops, which was raised during the Security Council mission to the Great Lakes region, and encouraging the Secretary General, if asked to do so by the parties, to instruct MONUC to facilitate the development of this idea, with a view to possible support to its implementation, including by sending observers,

Recognizing the importance of electoral support in achieving governmental transition in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and expressing its intention, once an all-inclusive transitional Government is in place, to consider the role the international community, in particular MONUC, might play in support to the electoral process,

Underlining that the main responsibility for resolving the conflict rests with the parties,

Taking note of the Secretary-General’s report of 5 June 2002 (S/2002/621) and its recommendations,

Determining that the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo continues to pose a threat to international peace and security in the region,

“1.   Decides to extend the mandate of MONUC until 30 June 2003;

“2.   Calls upon Member States to contribute personnel to enable MONUC to reach its authorized strength of 5,537, including observers, within the timeframe outlined in its concept of operation;

“3.   Takes note of the recommendation by the Secretary General for a troop ceiling increase and expresses its intention to consider authorizing it as soon as further progress has been achieved and the steps referred to in paragraph 12 of resolution 1376 (2001) of 9 November 2001 have been taken;

“4.   Condemns ethnically and nationally-based calls for violence and the killings and attacks against civilians and soldiers that followed the events that took place on 14 May and thereafter in Kisangani, looks forward to receiving the joint report and recommendations by MONUC and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the violence in Kisangani, and reiterates that it holds the Rassemblement Congolais pour la Démocratie-Goma, as the de facto authority, responsible to bring to an end all extrajudicial executions, human rights violations and arbitrary harassment of civilians in Kisangani, and all other areas under RCD-Goma’s control, and that it demands the demilitarization of Kisangani;

“5    Condemns the exploitation of ethnic differences in order to incite or carry out violence or human rights violations, deplores the humanitarian impact of such abuse, and in this regard expresses particular concern at the situation in the Ituri region and in South Kivu, in particular in the Hauts Plateaux, and calls on the de facto authorities in the regions affected to ensure the protection of civilians and the rule of law;

“6.   Reiterates its full support for the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and for all the dedicated MONUC personnel who operate in challenging conditions, demands that RCD-Goma provide full access and lift all restrictions on MONUC personnel, and fully cooperate with MONUC in the implementation of its mandate, and urges Rwanda to exert its influence to have RCD-Goma meet without delay all its obligations;

“7.   Recalling paragraph 8 of resolution 1291 (2000) of 24 February 2000 and paragraph 19 of resolution 1341 (2001) of 22 February 2001, supports the steps outlined in paragraphs 25 and 71 of the Secretary General’s report (S/2002/621) and reaffirms MONUC’s mandate to take the necessary action in the areas of deployment of its armed units and as it deems it within its capabilities :

-- to protect United Nations and co-located Joint Military Commission personnel, facilities, installations and equipment,

–- to ensure the security and freedom of movements of its personnel, and

–- to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence;

“8.   Requests MONUC to proceed expeditiously in the deployment of the additional 85 police trainers to Kisangani as endorsed in the statement of its President dated 24 May 2002, once MONUC determines that the necessary security conditions are in place;

“9.   Supports MONUC’s role in Disarmament, Demobilization, Repatriation, Resettlement, and Reintegration (DDRRR) as authorized in relevant Security Council resolutions, welcomes its deployment to Kisangani and Kindu, encourages it to move quickly to respond to any signs of interest in voluntary DDRRR by uncontrolled armed groups in the eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, within its current means, and calls for the full cooperation of all the parties on DDRRR, including on the DDRRR of the ex-combatants of Kamina, and for the provision of the necessary planning information referred to in paragraph 12 (ii) of resolution 1376;

“10. Welcomes the commitments made by the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, during the Security Council mission to the Great Lakes, not to support the armed groups referred to in Annex A, Chapter 9.1 of the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement and regarding the cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and, in this regard, urges the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo fully to implement these commitments and urgently to take all necessary steps to ensure that its territory is not used to support these armed groups;

“11. Stresses that the reduction in the number of foreign forces in the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is encouraging, demands the total and expeditious withdrawal of all foreign forces, in accordance with its previous resolutions, without which the conflict can not be resolved, and, in this regard, reiterates that all parties must transmit to MONUC, in accordance with the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement and Security Council resolutions, in particular resolution 1376 (2001), the plans and timetables for the total withdrawal of their troops from the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo;

“12. Encourages the parties, especially the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Government of Rwanda, to address the fundamental security issues at the heart of the conflict and, in this context, to explore the scope for further confidence building measures, such as the idea discussed during the Security Council mission to the Great Lakes region of a curtain of troops, as an interim measure aimed at ensuring border security in the final stages of withdrawal, and encourages the parties to follow up on their initial positive reaction and develop this idea;

“13. Reiterates its support for the Inter-Congolese Dialogue and encourages the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mouvement pour la Libération du Congo (MLC) and RCD-Goma to hold new discussions as soon as possible, in good faith, and without precondition, taking into account the progress in the Inter-Congolese Dialogue achieved in Sun City, in order to reach an all-inclusive agreement on the political transition, with the support of all the Congolese parties to the Inter-Congolese Dialogue;

“14.  While reaffirming that the primary responsibility for this dialogue lies with the Congolese themselves, stresses the importance of a strong United Nations role in support of this process and, in this respect, supports the efforts of the newly appointed Special Envoy of the Secretary General, Mr. Moustapha Niasse;

“15.  Requests all parties and relevant States to extend their full cooperation to the Panel of Experts on the illegal exploitation of natural resources and other forms of wealth of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the link between the exploitation and the continuation of the conflict;

“16.  Requests the Secretary General to report at least every four months to the Council on progress on the implementation of this resolution;

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

Background

As the Security Council met this morning to discuss the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it had before it the Secretary-General’s eleventh report on the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) (document S/2002/621), describing developments in the Democratic Republic of the Congo over the period 16 February until 5 June and recommending that MONUC’s mandate -- which expires on 15 June -- be extended for  a further 12 months, as well as an increase in the authorized troop strength by 400 troops.

According to the report, many important developments in the past year gave cause for gratification.  The ceasefire has continued to hold generally along the entire length of the former confrontation line, and during a dialogue on the governance of their country, Congolese representatives have achieved a large measure of agreement on several important issues.  Nevertheless, fighting has intensified in the east, mostly involving clashes between armed groups that are not signatories to the Lusaka Agreement, RCD-Goma and the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA).  The agreement reached during the inter-Congolese dialogue in Sun City (South Africa) is not yet an all-inclusive one.  Grave violations of human rights persist and the great majority of Congolese still suffer the effects of war, hunger, poverty, disease, lack of access to clean water and inadequate living conditions.  Hundreds of thousands have been displaced by conflict and insecurity.

The Secretary-General, in his report, strongly deplores the violence that has once again afflicted the city of Kisangani during the past few weeks.  That city has yet to be demilitarized.  The ethnically based calls for violence, as well as reports of subsequent reprisals directed against unarmed civilians and military and police officers, deserve to be condemned.  The MONUC and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights will continue to gather information on the events that began on 14 May and local authorities must facilitate those investigations.  The Secretary-General reiterates his call on RCD-Goma leaders to demilitarize Kisangani without further delay.  He hopes that the commencement of MONUC police training in Kisangani will assist in normalizing the situation there.

While the reduction of foreign forces in the country is encouraging, the conflict cannot be resolved without the total withdrawal of all foreign forces, the report states.  Those countries with forces inside the Democratic Republic of the Congo should withdraw them as soon as possible.  The Security Council mission during its recent visit to the Great Lakes region proposed the establishment of a "curtain" of troops along the borders with Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda.  Such border security zone would facilitate the final withdrawal of foreign forces from the territory and MONUC is continuing to explore the feasibility of the proposal.

Although MONUC may take the necessary action to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence, according to resolution 1291 (2000), the report notes that, despite the deployment of additional troops to Kisangani, troops currently deployed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are not equipped, trained or configured to intervene rapidly to assist those in need of such protection.  It will be necessary for the Council to consider adjusting the strength of MONUC in that regard.

The report concludes that continued unrest in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic, the absence of a comprehensive outcome to the inter-Congolese dialogue, and difficulties in identifying a militarily capable troop-contributing country that would enable MONUC to establish an effective presence in the east have limited the prospects of rapid progress in disarmament, demobilization and repatriation of armed groups.

The Secretary-General, therefore, invites the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to fully support the disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, resettlement and reintegration process, to cooperate fully with the International Tribunal for Rwanda regarding persons in the territory suspected of crimes against humanity in the 1994 genocide, and to take steps to ensure that the territories of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its neighbours are not used as a base for attacking all countries involved.  More cooperation is also needed from the RCD-Goma to allow the disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, resettlement and reintegration process to be carried forward.

In a letter dated 4 June to the President of the Security Council (document S/2002/619), the Secretary-General informs the Council that he has decided to appoint Moustapha Niasse, former Prime Minister of Senegal, as his Special Envoy to assist in negotiations, in consultation with the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the Facilitator, Ketumile Masire.

This appointment followed, the Secretary-General says in the letter, the lack of consensus on power sharing at the inter-Congolese dialogue held in Sun City, South Africa.  The recent Security Council mission to the Great Lakes region noted that the parties had agreed to continue negotiation with a view towards arriving at an acceptable formula.

The current chapter in the Congolese conflict dates from August 1998, when, in an attempt to stabilize the country and consolidate his control, then President Laurent Kabila expelled the Rwandan troops that remained in the country after he assumed power in 1997.  That action prompted army mutinies in the capital Kinshasa and the Kivu provinces in the east.  Although the Kinshasa mutiny was put down, the mutiny in the Kivus continued and mushroomed into a drive to topple the Government.  Opposing the Kabila Government were factions of the RCD supported by Rwanda, and Uganda.  The Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC), another rebel group, emerged later.  Defending the Kabila Government were the former Rwandan army (ex-FAR)/Interahamwe militia, as well as Angola, Namibia, Chad, Zimbabwe and the Congolese army.

In July 1999 in Lusaka, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, along with Angola, Namibia, Rwanda, Uganda and Zimbabwe, signed the Ceasefire Agreement, with the MLC signing on in August.  Along with a cessation of hostilities, the agreement called for an international peacekeeping operation, and the beginning of a "national dialogue" on the future of the country.  To maintain liaison with the parties and carry out other tasks, the Council set up the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) in November 1999, incorporating United Nations personnel authorized in earlier resolutions.

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For information media. Not an official record.