SECURITY COUNCIL, IN PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT, URGES CEASEFIRE AMONG PARTIES TO CONFLICT IN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, CONDEMNS USE OF CHILDREN

21 October 2008
SC/9477

SECURITY COUNCIL, IN PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT, URGES CEASEFIRE AMONG PARTIES TO CONFLICT IN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, CONDEMNS USE OF CHILDREN

21 October 2008
Security Council
SC/9477
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Security Council

5998th Meeting (PM)

SECURITY COUNCIL, IN PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT, URGES CEASEFIRE AMONG PARTIES

TO CONFLICT IN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, CONDEMNS USE OF CHILDREN

Expressing its grave concern at the resurgence of violence in the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and alarmed by the humanitarian consequences of the recent fighting, the Security Council this afternoon urged all parties to immediately respect a ceasefire.

In a statement read by this month’s President, Zhang Yesui ( China), the Council strongly condemned the continuing recruitment and use of children by armed groups, as well as the continued prevalence of sexual and gender-based violence in the eastern region.

In its presidential statement S/PRST/2008/38, the Council expressed its full support for the disengagement plan elaborated by the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) and accepted by the country’s Government, and urges all parties to abide by it.  It strongly condemned recent declarations by Laurent Nkunda calling for a national rebellion.

Welcoming the intention of MONUC to reconfigure its forces and optimize their deployment, to enhance efficiency within the existing mandate and troop ceiling, and taking note of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative’s request for additional capacities, the Council requested the Secretary-General to present a full analysis of the situation and recommendations in his next report.

The Council urged the Governments of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda to urgently engage in efforts to settle their differences, including through reactivating the Joint Verification Mechanism.  It encouraged the Secretary-General to step up his efforts to facilitate dialogue between the two countries.

The Security Council also strongly condemned the recent attacks by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) that included the abduction of 159 schoolchildren in villages in the Oriental Province.  In that regard, it recalled the International Criminal Court’s indictments against members of the LRA leadership on charges of the enlistment of children through abduction, considered as a war crime.

The meeting started at 12:45 p.m. and adjourned at 12:50 p.m.

Presidential Statement

The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2008/38 reads as follows:

“The Security Council expresses its grave concern at the resurgence of violence in the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its potential regional implications.  It is alarmed by the humanitarian consequences of the recent fighting and urges all parties to immediately respect a ceasefire.

“The Security Council expresses its deep concern over continued threats to the safety of the civilian population and to the conduct of humanitarian operations.  The Council strongly condemns the continuing recruitment and use of children by armed groups, as well as the continued prevalence of sexual and gender-based violence in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  It urges all parties to comply fully with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, human rights law and refugee law.

“The Security Council reiterates the need to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  It once again calls on all armed groups to immediately lay down their arms and present themselves without any further delay or preconditions to Congolese authorities and MONUC for their disarmament, repatriation, resettlement and/or reintegration, as appropriate.

“The Security Council reaffirms that the Goma and Nairobi processes constitute the framework within which long-term stability in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo should be pursued.  The Security Council urges all the parties to the Goma and Nairobi agreements to implement their commitments effectively and in good faith.  In this respect, the Council strongly condemns the recent declarations by Laurent Nkunda calling for a national rebellion.

“The Security Council reiterates its strong support to the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) in helping restore peace in the Kivus and encourages MONUC to reinforce its action to ensure the protection of civilians.  The Council expresses its full support for the disengagement plan elaborated by MONUC and accepted by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and urges all parties to abide by it.

“The Security Council welcomes MONUC’s intention to reconfigure its forces and optimize their deployment so as to enhance its efficiency within the existing mandate and troop ceiling.  The Security Council takes note of the additional capacities for MONUC requested by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General.  The Council requests the Secretary-General to present a full analysis of the situation and recommendations in his next report to the Council.

“The Security Council urges the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to take effective steps to ensure that there is no cooperation between elements of the FARDC and the FDLR.  The Council also calls upon the Governments in the region to cease all support to the armed groups in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

“The Security Council urges the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Government of the Republic of Rwanda to urgently engage in efforts to settle their differences, including through reactivating the Joint Verification Mechanism, and calls upon them to implement the Nairobi communiqué fully.  The Council encourages the Secretary-General to step up his efforts to facilitate dialogue between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

“The Security Council strongly condemns the recent attacks by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), including the abduction by the LRA of 159 schoolchildren in villages in the Oriental Province.  The Council recalls the International Criminal Court indictments against members of the LRA leadership on charges of, among other things, the enlistment of children through abduction, as a war crime.”

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.