On 26 January 2018, the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1533 (2004) concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo held an open briefing on the midterm report of the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (S/2017/1091). The meeting was held in pursuance of paragraph 31 of resolution 2360 (2017), by which the Security Council encouraged the Chair to hold regular briefings for all interested Member States.
During the meeting, whose participants included invited regional States and interested Member States, the Coordinator of the Group of Experts provided an overview of the midterm report’s findings, noting at the outset the need for a swift investigation into the murder of former experts Michael Sharp and Zaida Catalán, and echoing the concerns expressed in the midterm report that the security of current members of the Group remained at risk as long as all those suspected in the murder are not investigated and brought to justice. The Coordinator also highlighted the Group’s findings regarding the involvement of Democratic Republic of the Congo army officials in the illicit trade of natural resources and the diversion of arms from security forces to armed groups. Finally, he cited ongoing violations of human rights and international humanitarian law as well as the rise of political and security tensions related to the holding of elections.
Following the Coordinator’s briefing, the invited regional States — the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of the Congo (Chair of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR)), Burundi, Rwanda, United Republic of Tanzania, and Uganda — provided national statements in connection with the midterm report and their respective national implementation efforts. The representative of the Democratic Republic of the Congo highlighted efforts made in the investigations of the deaths of the former experts as well as in the illicit exploitation natural resources. The representative of Burundi provided views in relation to reported violations of the arms embargo. The Republic of the Congo assured participants of its commitment, within the context of its chairmanship of the ICGLR, to promote peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda reaffirmed their commitment to collaborate with the Group of Experts on issues relating to the mandate of the Committee.
Committee members, regional States and interested Member States welcomed the opportunity to engage with the Group of Experts on the midterm report and on sanctions implementation in general. Committee members and delegations stressed that the need for enhanced cooperation among regional States, the Committee and the Group of Experts with a view to strengthening the effective implementation of the sanctions measures.