PRESS STATEMENT ON ITURI REGION BY PRESIDENT OF SECURITY COUNCIL
Following is today’s press statement on the situation in the Ituri region by Martin Belinga-Eboutou (Cameroon), President of the Security Council:
Members of the Security Council express their grave concern regarding the situation in the Ituri region. They appeal to all local groups and, in particular, to the Union des Patriotes Congolais (UPC) to show restraint and to put their efforts into achieving a political settlement, inter alia, through the Ituri Pacification Commission. In that connection, they call on Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to work with the United Nations Organization Mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) to ensure the success of this Commission, and they ask the other States in the region, Rwanda in particular, also to make a positive contribution. They ask Uganda, as long as it maintains forces on the spot, to watch out for the security of the civilian population in and around Bunia.
The members of the Security Council express their support for MONUC, congratulate it on the initial results obtained as regards disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, resettlement and reintegration of the foreign armed groups and ask the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to give its full support to MONUC in its efforts, particularly in Kamina. They call on all parties to cooperate with MONUC, condemn the difficulties that the Rassemblement Congolais pour la Démocratie (RCD) and the Mouvement pour la Libération du Congo (MLC) have created for MONUC and demand that this type of behaviour cease immediately. They recall that they are demanding that RCD complete the demilitarization of Kisangani and ask the rebels to facilitate the complete reopening of the river to traffic.
Members of the Council welcome the continued withdrawal of foreign forces and ask MONUC to continue its verification work until it can report that all forces have been withdrawn.
Members of the Council encourage the Congolese parties to continue their efforts to arrive at an inclusive agreement on the political transition as soon as possible.
Members of the Council pay tribute to South Africa and MONUC and welcome their close cooperation within the Third Party Verification Mechanism.
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