Security Council Adopts Resolution 2136 (2014), Renewing Arms Embargo, Related Measures Imposed on Democratic Republic of Congo
Security Council Adopts Resolution 2136 (2014), Renewing Arms Embargo, Related Measures Imposed on Democratic Republic of Congo
|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
7107th Meeting (AM)
Security Council Adopts Resolution 2136 (2014), Renewing Arms Embargo,
Related Measures Imposed on Democratic Republic of Congo
Neighbours Support M23, Says Congolese Representative,
As Rwandan Counterpart Rejects Report by Group of Experts Monitoring Sanctions
The Security Council today renewed until 1 February 2015 the arms embargo and related sanctions imposed on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, also requesting the Secretary-General to extend the mandate of the Group of Experts monitoring the implementation of those measures.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2136 (2014) under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Council further defined the criteria for the application of targeted travel and financial measures, deciding to review them no later than 1 February 2015, with a view to adjusting them as appropriate. It requested the Group of Experts, established pursuant to resolution 1533 (2004), to present a midterm report by 28 June 2014 and a final report before 16 January 2015, having also taken note of its 2013 final report (document S/2014/42).
Strongly condemning all armed groups operating in the region, the Council demanded, by the text, that the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and various Mayi Mayi groups immediately cease all violence, disband permanently and demobilize children from their ranks.
By other terms, the Council called on all States, especially those in the region, to take steps to ensure there was no support within or from their territories for armed groups in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. It demanded that the Congolese Government, as per its commitments contained in the 12 December 2013 Nairobi declarations, accelerate implementation of its disarmament demobilization and reintegration programme. The Council requested the United Nations and others urgently to address the situation of former combatants of the March 23 Movement (M23) in their territories, stressing the importance of ensuring that M23 did not regroup and resume its military activities.
Eugène-Richard Gasana (Rwanda), speaking after the resolution’s adoption, said he had voted in favour of it because a sanctions regime on the Democratic Republic of the Congo was of utmost importance in the fight against armed groups, especially FDLR. The group included perpetrators of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda who continued to carry out ethnically based abuses. Expressing concern over collaboration between that genocidal group and the Forces armées de la république démocratique du Congo (FARDC), he called upon the Congolese Government to abide by the Peace, Security and Cooperation framework, and urged the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) as well as the Expanded Joint Verification Mechanism (EJVM), to investigate the matter.
Rejecting the report of the Group of Experts, he said it lacked objectivity, transparency, evidence and credible sources. He deplored the “flawed methodology” applied by an unprofessional group that allowed itself the right to accuse an entire nation without evidence. However, Rwanda had supported a one-year extension of its mandate since the Expert Group could help the so-called “1533 Committee” monitoring sanctions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Reiterating that the Council should demand that the Group of Experts behave in a more impartial, professional manner, he emphasized that the imposition of sanctions and the use of a United Nations-funded mechanism to launch “grave and damaging” accusations against a Member State was totally unacceptable, and could undermine ongoing efforts to find forward-looking solutions.
With that, he went on to express Rwanda’s unwavering commitment to the Group of Experts, saying it could address the root causes of the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo if it followed its mandate. However, any failure to report on regional dynamics would undermine ongoing peace efforts, he cautioned. Rwanda was committed to finding a lasting solution to the crisis in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo bilaterally, through the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and through the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework.
Ignace Gata Mavita wa Lufuta ( Democratic Republic of the Congo) described the abuses outlined in the experts’ report as “serious violations” of relevant Security Council resolutions and of the Framework Agreement. Alongside the credible information contained in the report of the Secretary-General, the Group of Experts had shown that Rwanda and Uganda supported the terrorist M23, former members of which continued to recruit members in those countries. The group continued to receive support from inside Rwandan territory, he added, noting that the report outlined credible information that M23 leaders could move freely inside Uganda and beyond its borders, one of them having travelled to Europe.
M23 continued to recruit members even after statements made in Nairobi last December that it would end hostilities, he continued. That had been confirmed by the head of MONUSCO on 13 January, but the report contained no recommendations regarding either M23 leaders or Uganda and Rwanda, which remained in violation of their commitments. “We wish to live peacefully within our borders, but we also wish to see peace for all countries in the region,” he said, requesting details about the alleged cooperation between Congolese forces and FDLR. The “FDLR matter” was among Rwanda’s most frequently used pretexts to destabilize the Democratic Republic of the Congo, he said, adding that settling that issue remained a priority.
He went on to say that the Congolese Government had sent a letter on 16 January recalling the joint military operations that his country and Rwanda had undertaken to repatriate FDLR members who had opted for the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process. In good faith, the Government had committed with the Rwandans to hunt down FDLR, he noted, adding that Congolese troops had defeated M23. “We have no desire to cooperate with hostile Rwandan forces,” he emphasized, pointing out that the report documented the Rwandan army’s presence inside Congolese territory, in violation of his country’s sovereignty and territorial independence. Such actions constituted acts of aggression and must be condemned. Rwanda had denied but could not refute the proof of its destabilization efforts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, he declared.
In July 2013, the Congolese Government had requested the extradition of four M23 leaders from Rwanda, yet the latter had never responded to that request. The Council should urge both Rwanda and Uganda to cooperate in arresting and handing over those criminals to Congolese judicial bodies. Sanctions, if targeted and rigorously imposed, would set the conditions needed for a rapid return to peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region, while preventing the illegal exploitation of Congolese natural resources by foreign-backed rebels, he said. All the information provided on FDLR should have led to a resolution on Rwanda and the genocide, in which the Democratic Republic of the Congo had had no involvement at all.
Mr. Gasana (Rwanda), taking the floor a second time, pointed out that the Democratic Republic of the Congo was more than 80 times his country’s size, yet the contrary would appear to be true given his counterpart’s remarks. The fact was that the Democratic Republic of the Congo was “big and rich”, while Rwanda was small, landlocked and moving beyond its past. It would have been appropriate for the Congolese delegate to thank the President of Uganda for all his efforts to guarantee stability in the region. As for the illegal exploitation of Congolese resources, he said Rwanda was ready to help stabilize the neighbouring country, as it had done after the genocide, he said, adding that his Congolese counterpart might not have been present today had Rwanda not chosen to do so. Rwanda had no reason to destabilize its neighbour, he stressed.
Recalling that he had repeatedly called for something to be done about Rwandan members of M23 over the past year, he said people had sat idly by. “What do you want us to do?” If the Human Rights Council did not want to do its work, perhaps an international tribunal could deal with those individuals, he suggested. “We abide by international law,” he said, adding that the time had come to stop harping on about Rwanda. While the 1994 genocide had been perpetrated by Rwandans against Rwandans, some of them now lived in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and if that country continued to help people who harboured a “mentality of genocide”, the two countries would never move beyond “this chapter”.
Mr. Gata Mavita wa Lufuta ( Democratic Republic of the Congo) responded by saying that his country did not have to take orders from the Rwandan representative, and it was not for him to forbid his country from appearing before the Council to outline its views. It was the Group of Experts that had outlined the facts, and if Rwanda had any objections, it should address itself to them. The Democratic Republic of the Congo was a sovereign country and must be respected, he stressed. It had chosen a constructive solution because it wanted peace within its territory and with its neighbours. “We want to have a dialogue with people who are sincere,” he insisted, not with those who said “yes”, but really meant “no”.
He said that neither Rwanda nor Uganda had respected the Framework Agreement, as made clear by the Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region. As for FDLR, the Congolese Government had requested the Group of Experts to share information so that it could carry out investigations. MONUSCO could offer evidence that FDLR members had been made available to Rwanda, he said, adding that they had then been “recycled” and sent back to continue fomenting trouble in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. “Don’t come here and tell us they’re going to help us,” he said, stressing that his country wanted peace so that the region could move forward.
The meeting began at 10:15 a.m. and ended at 11 a.m.
The full text of resolution 2136 (2014) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Recalling its previous resolutions and the statements of its President concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC),
“Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the DRC as well as all States in the region and emphasizing the need to respect fully the principles of non-interference, good neighbourliness and regional cooperation,
“Stressing the primary responsibility of the Government of the DRC for ensuring security in its territory and protecting its civilians with respect for the rule of law, human rights and international humanitarian law,
“Taking note of the interim report (S/2013/433) and the final report (S/2014/42) of the Group of Experts on the DRC (“the Group of Experts”) established pursuant to resolution 1771 (2007) and extended pursuant to resolutions 1807 (2008), 1857 (2008), 1896 (2009), 1952 (2010), 2021 (2011) and 2078 (2012) and of their recommendations,
“Welcoming the declaration of the end of the 23 March Movement (M23), the corresponding declaration by the Government of DRC, and the signing in Nairobi on 12 December 2013 of the documents concluding the Kampala talks facilitated by Uganda as president of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), while stressing the importance of ensuring that the M23 does not regroup and resume military activities, in line with the Nairobi declarations and relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions,
“Reiterating its deep concern regarding the security and humanitarian crisis in eastern DRC due to ongoing military activities of foreign and domestic armed groups, stressing the importance of neutralizing all armed groups, including the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), and various Mayi Mayi groups, in line with resolution 2098 (2013),
“Reiterating its strong condemnation of any and all internal or external support to armed groups active in the region, including through financial, logistical and military support,
“Condemning the illicit flow of weapons within and into the DRC in violation of resolutions 1533 (2004), 1807 (2008), 1857 (2008), 1896 (2009), 1952 (2010), 2021 (2011) and 2078 (2012), and declaring its determination to continue to monitor closely the implementation of the arms embargo and other measures set out by its resolutions concerning the DRC,
“Acknowledging in this respect the important contribution the Council-mandated arms embargo makes to countering the illicit transfer of small arms and light weapons in the DRC, and in supporting post-conflict peacebuilding, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration and security sector reform,
“Recalling the linkage between the illegal exploitation of natural resources, including poaching and illegal trafficking of wildlife, illicit trade in such resources, and the proliferation and trafficking of arms as one of the major factors fuelling and exacerbating conflicts in the Great Lakes region of Africa, and encouraging the continuation of the regional efforts of the ICGLR and the governments involved against the illegal exploitation of natural resources, and stressing, in this regard, the importance of regional cooperation and deepening economic integration with special consideration for the exploitation of natural resources,
“Noting with great concern the persistence of serious human rights abuses and humanitarian law violations against civilians in the eastern part of the DRC, including summary executions, sexual and gender-based violence and large-scale recruitment and use of children committed by armed groups,
“Noting with deep concern reports and allegations indicating the persistence of serious human rights and international humanitarian law violations committed by Congolese armed forces (FARDC), including those committed with impunity,
“Noting with deep concern reports indicating FARDC collaboration with the FDLR at a local level, recalling that the FDLR is a group under United Nations sanctions whose leaders and members include perpetrators of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, during which Hutu and others who opposed the genocide were also killed, and have continued to promote and commit ethnically based and other killings in Rwanda and in the DRC, and stressing the importance of permanently addressing this threat,
“Calling for all those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law and violations or abuses of human rights, as applicable, including those involving violence or abuses against children and acts of sexual and gender-based violence, to be swiftly apprehended, brought to justice and held accountable,
“Welcoming the efforts of the United Nations Secretary-General as well as of the ICGLR, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU), to restore peace and security in eastern DRC,
“Welcoming the signing in Addis Ababa on 24 February 2013 of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region (“the PSC Framework”) and the nomination of Special Envoy Mary Robinson, and reiterating the need for all signatories to fulfil promptly, fully and in good faith their respective commitments,
“Taking note of the Declaration of the Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the ICGLR on the Promotion of Peace, Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes Region held in Luanda on 15 January 2014,
“Recalling all its relevant resolutions on women and peace and security, on children and armed conflict, and on the protection of civilians in armed conflicts,
“Calling on all parties to cooperate fully with the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO), reiterating its condemnation of any attacks against peacekeepers, and emphasizing that those responsible for such attacks must be brought to justice,
“Determining that the situation in the DRC continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region,
“Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
“1. Decides to renew until 1 February 2015 the measures on arms imposed by paragraph 1 of resolution 1807 (2008) and reaffirms the provisions of paragraphs 2, 3 and 5 of that resolution and further decides that the measures on arms imposed by paragraph 1 of resolution 1807 (2008) shall not apply to the supply of arms and related material, as well as assistance, advice or training, intended solely for the support of or use by the African Union-Regional Task Force;
“2. Decides to renew, for the period specified in paragraph 1 above, the measures on transport imposed by paragraphs 6 and 8 of resolution 1807 (2008) and reaffirms the provisions of paragraph 7 of that resolution;
“3. Decides to renew, for the period specified in paragraph 1 above, the financial and travel measures imposed by paragraphs 9 and 11 of resolution 1807 (2008) and reaffirms the provisions of paragraphs 10 and 12 of that resolution regarding the individuals and entities referred to in paragraph 4 of resolution 1857 (2008) and reaffirms the provisions of paragraphs 10 and 12 of resolution 1807 (2008) in relation to those measures;
“4. Decides that the measures referred to in paragraph 3 above shall apply to the following individuals, and, as appropriate, entities, as designated by the Committee:
(a) Individuals or entities acting in violation of the measures taken by Member States in accordance with paragraph 1 above;
(b) Political and military leaders of foreign armed groups operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo who impede the disarmament and the voluntary repatriation or resettlement of combatants belonging to those groups;
(c) Political and military leaders of Congolese militias, including those receiving support from outside the DRC, who impede the participation of their combatants in disarmament, demobilization and reintegration processes;
(d) Individuals or entities operating in the DRC and recruiting or using children in armed conflict in violation of applicable international law;
(e) Individuals or entities operating in the DRC and involved in planning, directing, or participating in the targeting of children or women in situations of armed conflict, including killing and maiming, rape and other sexual violence, abduction, forced displacement, and attacks on schools and hospitals;
(f) Individuals or entities obstructing the access to or the distribution of humanitarian assistance in the DRC;
(g) Individuals or entities supporting armed groups in the DRC through illicit trade of natural resources, including gold or wildlife as well as wildlife products;
(h) Individuals or entities acting on behalf of or at the direction of a designated individual or entity, or acting on behalf of or at the direction of an entity owned or controlled by a designated individual or entity;
(i) Individuals or entities who plan, direct, sponsor or participate in attacks against MONUSCO peacekeepers;
(j) Individuals or entities providing financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to, or in support of a designated individual or entity.
“5. Requests the Secretary-General to extend, for a period expiring on 1 February 2015, the Group of Experts established pursuant to resolution 1533 (2004) and renewed by subsequent resolutions and requests the Group of Experts to fulfil its mandate as set out in paragraph 18 of resolution 1807 (2008) and expanded by paragraphs 9 and 10 of resolution 1857 (2008), and to present to the Council, through the Committee, a written midterm report by 28 June 2014, and a written final report before 16 January 2015, welcomes the practice of receiving additional updates from the Group of Experts as appropriate, and further requests that, after a discussion with the Committee, the Group of Experts submit to the Council its final report upon termination of the Group’s mandate;
“6. Strongly condemns all armed groups operating in the region and their violations of international humanitarian law as well as other applicable international law, and abuses of human rights including attacks on the civilian population, MONUSCO peacekeepers and humanitarian actors, summary executions, sexual and gender-based violence and large-scale recruitment and use of children, and reiterates that those responsible will be held accountable;
“7. Demands that the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and various Mayi Mayi groups cease immediately all forms of violence and other destabilizing activities and that their members immediately and permanently disband, lay down their arms and demobilize children from their ranks;
“8. Calls upon all States, especially those in the region, to take effective steps to ensure that there is no support, in and from their territories, for the armed groups in the eastern part of the DRC, welcoming the positive international developments in regard to addressing the risks posed by armed group leaders in the diasporas, and calls upon all States to take steps, where appropriate, against leaders of the FDLR and other armed groups residing in their countries;
“9. Demands that the Government of the DRC, per its commitments in the Nairobi Declarations of 12 December 2013, accelerate the implementation of its disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme, in coordination with the United Nations, international organizations and neighbouring countries where former M23 combatants have found refuge, requests, in this respect, and in accordance with the Nairobi declarations and in line with commitments under the PSC Framework agreement, the United Nations and international organizations to work together with neighbouring States to urgently address the situation of former M23 combatants located in their territories, and stresses the importance of ensuring that the M23 does not regroup and resume military activities, in line with the Nairobi declarations and relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions;
“10. Welcomes the progress made to date by the Government of the DRC on ending the use of children in armed conflict and urges the Government of the DRC to follow through on its commitments made in the action plan signed with the United Nations detailing concrete, time-bound measures to release and reintegrate children associated with the Congolese armed forces and to prevent further recruitment, and for the protection of girls and boys from sexual violence;
“11. Stresses the importance of the Government of the DRC actively seeking to hold accountable those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the country and of regional cooperation to this end, including through its ongoing cooperation with the International Criminal Court, encourages MONUSCO to use its existing authority to assist the Government of the DRC in this regard, and calls on all signatories of the PSC Framework Agreement to continue to implement their commitments and cooperate fully with one another and the Government of the DRC, as well as MONUSCO to this end;
“12. Recalling that there should be no impunity for any of those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights in the DRC and the region, and, in this regard, urging the DRC, all countries in the region and other concerned United Nations Member States to bring perpetrators to justice and hold them accountable;
“13. Decides that the measures imposed by paragraph 9 of resolution 1807 (2008) shall not apply as per the criteria set out in paragraph 10 of resolution 2078;
“14. Reiterates its support to the Expanded Joint Verification Mechanism (EJVM), and welcomes the decision of the ICGLR to grant permanent representation of MONUSCO in the EJVM;
“15. Calls on the Government of the DRC to enhance stockpile security, accountability and management of arms and ammunition, with the assistance of international partners, to address urgently reports of diversion to armed groups, as necessary and requested, and to urgently implement a national weapons marking programme, in particular for state-owned firearms, in line with the standards established by the Nairobi Protocol and the Regional Centre on Small Arms;
“16. Recalls the mandate of MONUSCO to monitor the implementation of the arms embargo, in cooperation with the Group of Experts, and in particular to observe and report on flows of military personnel, arms or related materiel across the eastern border of the DRC, including by using surveillance capabilities provided by unmanned aerial systems, seize, collect and dispose of arms or related materiels whose presence in the DRC violates the measures imposed by paragraph 1, in accordance with paragraph 12 c) of paragraph 2098 (2013);
“17. Requests MONUSCO to assist the Committee established pursuant to paragraph 8 of resolution 1533 (2004) and the Group of Experts established by the same resolution, within its capabilities, including by passing information relevant to the implementation of the sanctions measures;
“18. Emphasizes the primary responsibility of the Government of the DRC to reinforce State authority and governance in eastern DRC, including through effective security sector reform to allow army, police and justice sector reform, and to end impunity for violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, urges the Government of the DRC to increase efforts in this regard, in accordance with its national commitments under the PSC framework and further encourages the continuation of efforts by the Government of the DRC to address issues of illegal exploitation and smuggling of natural resources;
“19. Welcomes in this regard the measures taken by the Congolese Government to implement the due diligence guidelines on the supply chain of minerals, as defined by the Group of Experts and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and calls on all States to assist the DRC, the ICGLR and the countries in the Great Lakes region in the implementation of the guidelines;
“20. Welcomes measures taken by the Governments in the region, in particular Rwanda and the DRC, to implement the due diligence guidelines, including adopting the Regional Certification Mechanism (RCM) of the ICGLR into their national legislation, in accordance with OECD Guidance and international practice, and requests the extension of the certification process to other Member States in the region as recommended by the Luanda Declaration of 15 January 2014;
“21. Encourages a swift response by the ICGLR to put in place the necessary technical capacity required to support Member States in their fight against the illegal exploitation of natural resources, and further encourages the ICGLR to take immediate actions to fully implement the mineral certification process;
“22. Encourages all States, particularly those in the region, to continue to raise awareness of the Group of Experts due diligence guidelines, and to continue efforts to end mineral smuggling, in particular in the gold sector as part of broader efforts to mitigate the risk of further financing armed groups and criminal networks within the FARDC;
“23. Reaffirms the provisions of paragraphs 6 to 13 of resolution 1952 (2010) and requests the Group of Experts to continue to study the impact of due diligence;
“24. Reaffirms the provisions of paragraphs 7 to 9 of resolution 2021 (2011) and reiterates its call to the DRC and States in the Great Lakes region to require their customs authorities to strengthen their control on exports and imports of minerals from the DRC, and to cooperate at the regional level to investigate and combat regional criminal networks and armed groups involved in the illegal exploitation of natural resources, including wildlife poaching and trafficking;
“25. Recalls the mandate of MONUSCO to support the Congolese authorities in the implementation of their national commitments under the PSC Framework agreement, in line with resolution 2098 (2013), and notes that MONUSCO should play a role in preventing the provision of support to armed groups from illicit activities, including production and trade in natural resources, notably by carrying out spot checks and regular visits to mining sites, trade routes and markets, in the vicinity of the five pilot trading counters;
“26. Expresses its full support to the United Nations Group of Experts of the 1533 Committee and calls for enhanced cooperation between all States, particularly those in the region, MONUSCO and the Group of Experts, encourages further that all parties and all States ensure cooperation with the Group of Experts by individuals and entities within their jurisdiction or under their control and reiterates its demand that all parties and all States ensure the safety of its members and its support staff, and that all parties and all States, including the DRC and countries of the region, provide unhindered and immediate access, in particular to persons, documents and sites the Group of Experts deems relevant to the execution of its mandate;
“27. Calls upon the Group of Experts to cooperate actively with other relevant panels of experts, in particular that on Côte d’Ivoire re-established by paragraph 13 of resolution 1980 (2011) with respect to natural resources, and that on Somalia re‑established by paragraph 27 of resolution 2111 (2013) with respect to the activities of the ADF and Al-Shabaab;
“28. Calls upon all States, particularly those in the region and those in which individuals and entities designated pursuant to paragraph 3 of this resolution are based, to regularly report to the Committee on the actions they have taken to implement the measures imposed by paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 and recommended in paragraph 8 of resolution 1952 (2010);
“29. Decides that, when appropriate and no later than 1 February 2015, it shall review the measures set forth in this resolution, with a view to adjusting them, as appropriate, in light of the security situation in the DRC, in particular progress in security sector reform including the integration of the armed forces and the reform of the national police, and in disarming, demobilizing, repatriating, resettling and reintegrating, as appropriate, Congolese and foreign armed groups, with a particular focus on children among them;
“30. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”
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