The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Joanna Wronecka (Poland):
The members of the Security Council met on 24 July 2019 to discuss the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and activities of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). They were briefed by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Leila Zerrougui, on the political, human rights, security and humanitarian situation in the country.
The members of the Security Council noted some positive new political developments in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since the election of President Félix Tshisekedi. They welcomed the efforts of President Tshisekedi towards reconciliation and peace and stability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They further welcomed the steps he has taken to open political space, including the release of members of the political opposition and of civil society, the return of political actors to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, his efforts in support of freedom of opinion and expression, and encouraged further action to deliver on his commitment to ensure the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo respects human rights and fundamental freedoms. They further welcomed his commitment to fight corruption and impunity and called for further efforts to hold those responsible for such crimes to account. They underlined the importance of forming a Government that can deliver on President Tshisekedi’s commitments to pursue national unity, strengthen the rule of law, and further political inclusiveness and peacebuilding.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the initiatives taken by President Tshisekedi to promote regional cooperation and the renewed commitments of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its neighbours to work together to tackle insecurity in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, bearing in mind the need to address the root causes of conflict, including the illicit exploitation and trafficking of natural resources, and put an end to recurring cycles of violence, as outlined in the Peace Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the improvement of the security situation in some parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They expressed concern, however, over the deterioration of the security situation in some areas of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, particularly in Ituri and North Kivu provinces, as well as over the worrisome humanitarian situation. They called on all actors to end violence.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their condemnation of all armed groups operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and their violations of international humanitarian law, especially those involving attacks on the civilian population, United Nations and associated personnel and humanitarian actors, medical personnel and facilities, as well as violations of other applicable international law and abuses of human rights. They welcomed the commitments made by some members of these armed groups to disarm, demobilize and return to civilian lives, and commended the role of MONUSCO in facilitating this process. They encouraged the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to develop, with the support of its partners, tailored initiatives to attract combatants willing to demobilize and transition into a peaceful civilian life. The members of the Security Council also welcomed the commitment of the authorities to fighting against impunity for human rights violations and abuses, including those involving sexual violence, and encouraged them to hold accountable those responsible for such violations and abuses.
The members of the Security Council also expressed concern about the continuation of the Ebola outbreak. They commended the concerted efforts by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the World Health Organization, MONUSCO, the African Union and other partners to combat the Ebola virus disease. They reiterated their appeal to donors and partners to continue providing the necessary support in order to close the humanitarian funding gap as quickly as possible.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They look forward to working with the Government once formed in order to address the challenges the Democratic Republic of the Congo is facing.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their continued support and commitment, in collaboration with regional actors and international partners, for the consolidation of peace, stability and development in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They further reiterated their full support to MONUSCO and Special Representative of the Secretary-General Leila Zerrougui.