|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
SECURITY COUNCIL PRESS STATEMENT ON DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
The following Security Council press statement on the Democratic Republic of the Congo was read out today by Council President Claude Heller ( Mexico):
The members of the Security Council heard a briefing by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Alan Doss, on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The members of the Security Council commended the improvement of the relationship among the countries of the region and encouraged them to continue reinforcing their political, military and economic cooperation in order to guarantee the long-term stabilization of the Great Lakes region. They recalled that operations against illegal armed groups should be planned jointly with the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) and in accordance with international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law, and should include appropriate measures to protect civilians.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the announcement on 23 March 2009 of the agreement reached between the Congolese Government and the Congrès national pour la défense du people (CNDP) and commended the role played by the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region, Olusegun Obasanjo, and his co‑facilitator Benjamin Mkapa. They noted the progress made in integrating the Congolese armed groups into the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) and stressed the importance of the security sector reform. The members of the Security Council gave their support to operations jointly planned and conducted by FARDC and MONUC against the Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda (FDLR), the Lord’s Resistance Army and other armed groups. They welcomed the progress achieved in the disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, resettlement and reintegration programme and urged the remaining elements of FDLR to join this process without delay. The members of the Security Council called on all parties to resume their participation in the Goma and Nairobi processes. They also looked forward to the organization of transparent local elections.
The members of the Security Council expressed their grave concern about the continued population displacement and the massive violations of human rights. They were especially dismayed by reports of widespread sexual violence and continued recruitment of minors into armed groups, and stressed the urgent need to end impunity for those responsible for these violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.
The members of the Security Council commended the substantial efforts made by the Secretary-General to reconfigure MONUC in order to improve its efficiency and mobility and to ensure a better protection of civilians. They encouraged the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to continue his action in this direction.
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