The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President François Delattre (France):
The members of the Security Council were briefed on 11 October by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Democratic Republic of Congo and Head of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).
The members of the Security Council reiterated their concern at the current political, security and humanitarian situation, in light of the challenges facing the implementation of the 31 December 2016 Agreement, the deterioration of the security situation, in particular in the Kasaï region and the east of the country, the increase in abuses and violations of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law in the country, as well as their subsequent humanitarian consequences, disproportionately affecting women and children. They stressed the need for greater attention to the humanitarian situation.
The members of the Security Council expressed concern that, unless political actors demonstrate renewed good faith and political will to deliver on the promises they made to their people on New Year’s Eve 2016, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the wider region are set to face an increased risk of insecurity and instability. They further called upon all political parties, their supporters, and other political actors to remain calm and refrain from violence of any kind. The members of the Security Council reiterated their commitment to act accordingly regarding all Congolese actors whose actions and statements impede the implementation of the Agreement and the organization of the elections.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their support to the efforts of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, MONUSCO, the African Union and regional organizations in helping to ensure the full implementation of the 31 December 2016 Agreement, in accordance with resolution 2348 (2017). The members of the Security Council called on partners of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to continue to support genuine efforts by national stakeholders towards the full implementation of the Agreement. They took note of the communiqué adopted at the seventh Summit of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region on 19 October 2017.
The members of the Security Council reiterated that effective, swift and timely implementation of the 31 December 2016 Agreement is critical to a credible electoral process and the peace and stability of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as in supporting the legitimacy of the transitional institutions, as it represents a viable road map towards the holding of inclusive, peaceful and democratic presidential and legislative elections. They called for the urgent publication of a credible electoral timetable, in line with the spirit of consensus that prevailed for the signing of the Agreement. They further reiterated their call for the full implementation of the confidence-building measures agreed in chapter V of the 31 December 2016 Agreement, some of which are yet to be implemented.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the steps taken by the National Electoral Commission, CENI, towards finalizing the voter registration, with the active support of MONUSCO. They welcomed the offer by the African Union, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, the Southern Africa Development Community and the European Union, along with the United Nations, to establish a coordinated team of experts to support the preparations for the elections, including in ensuring women’s full and equal participation.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their appeal to all Congolese actors to work for the preservation of the still fragile gains in the path of peace and stability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, they underscored the responsibility that all Congolese political stakeholders bear, especially by overcoming their differences to reach consensus and upholding the interests and well-being of their people above all other considerations, and strongly urged all stakeholders to redouble their efforts to ensure the inclusivity of all signatories of the Agreement in its implementation.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo bears the primary responsibility to protect civilians within its territory, they stressed the need for full respect for human rights, and for renewed efforts in the fight against impunity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, especially in view of the reported killing of civilians by State and non-State actors and disproportionate use of force by elements of the security forces. They reiterated the importance and urgency of prompt and transparent investigations into violations of international humanitarian law and violations or abuses of human rights in the Kasaï region. They reiterated their intention to closely monitor progress of the investigations into these violations and abuses, including the joint investigations by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, MONUSCO and the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in order to bring to justice and hold accountable all those responsible.
The members of the Security Council expressed concern about the increased activities of armed groups in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, including a recent increase in violence against local communities and the Democratic Republic of the Congo armed forces, escalating ethnic tensions, and an increase in internal displacement. They underlined the urgent need for safe and unhindered access for humanitarian actors.
The members of the Security Council took note of the strategic review of MONUSCO. They welcomed its focus on the two priorities set out by the Security Council in resolution 2348 (2017), as well as on ensuring increased effectiveness in the Mission, and agreed to thoroughly look into the recommendations of the Secretary-General. They reiterated their full support to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and to MONUSCO. The members of the Security Council are mindful of the financial constraints facing the Mission.