Peaceful Political Transition Possible in Democratic Republic of Congo,if All Stakeholders Embrace Dialogue, Security Council Told

SC/12600
23 November 2016
7819th Meeting (AM)

Peaceful Political Transition Possible in Democratic Republic of Congo,if All Stakeholders Embrace Dialogue, Security Council Told

Concern of Neighbouring States Conveyed as Mission Co-leads Brief Members

The two co-leads of the Security Council mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola, from 11 to 14 November, reported back today on their meetings with Heads of State and other high-level officials in those countries.

François Delattre (France) said the Council team had visited Kinshasa, the capital, and Beni in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, meeting a broad segment of Government, United Nations and civil society figures.  With the country at a historic turning point, a peaceful transition of power was possible for the first time in its history, he said.  In order for that to happen, however, all stakeholders must be on the same peaceful path and engage in dialogue, he emphasized.

All the actors with whom the mission had met in Kinshasa had pledged to abide by the agreements reached on 18 October to avert a repetition of violence and to engage in inclusive dialogue, he reported.  Among the issues discussed were the lifting of judicial prosecutions on political grounds, the freeing of political prisoners and other actions intended to build confidence, he said, adding that the Council team had also called for the restoration of banned broadcast services and permission for peaceful demonstrations.

He said the Council team had visited Beni for the first time to express solidarity after recent atrocities, and for a first‑hand view of how protection of the population was progressing, emphasizing in that regard that there would be no lasting security as long as illegal armed groups operated in the area.  That challenge required a complex response in which the cooperation of other countries in the region would be essential.  Civil society leaders had called upon the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) to be both robust and flexible, he said, stressing that the Mission could count on the Council’s support as it adapted to new challenges.

Ismael Abraão Gaspar Martins (Angola), reporting on the mission’s visit to his country, current Chair of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, said the team had exchanged views with high-level officials on how to address the situation in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo.  It had conveyed to the First Vice-President of Parliament and other senior officials the serious commitment by the main political actors in that country to overcome the political impasse and create conditions for an inclusive dialogue in order to hold fair and transparent elections leading to a peaceful transfer of power.

He said the Vice-President of Parliament had expressed concern over the negative impact of the neighbouring country’s crisis on Angola and other States in the region.  The Vice-President had also assured the mission that Angola was monitoring the situation while reaffirming its policy of non‑interference in the domestic affairs of other States, he added.  She had also stressed the need to preserve peace and security in the country and to resolve political disputes through dialogue, while avoiding confrontation and violence at all costs, he said, adding that she had pledged that Angola, as Chair of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region, would remain available to work with the Security Council and the international community for stability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The mission, he continued, had reaffirmed the need for consensus on an electoral calendar and the importance of a peaceful transition of power in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the need for efforts to enable the country to overcome the difficult period it was undergoing, ensure respect for the rule of law and establish an electoral calendar.  Interlocutors had agreed that the Council was the principal instrument by which to achieve peace and stability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The meeting began at 10:08 a.m. and ended at 10:25 a.m.

For information media. Not an official record.