The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Jerry Matthews Matjila (South Africa):
The members of the Security Council met on 9 October 2019 to discuss the situation in the Democratic Republic of 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 Council welcomed the inauguration of the new coalition Government and encouraged it to place the needs of the Congolese people above the pursuit of partisan interests. They reiterated the importance of delivering on President [Félix] Tshisekedi’s commitments to pursue national unity, strengthen the rule of law and the respect of freedom of opinion and expression, fight against corruption, and further political inclusiveness and peacebuilding.
The members of the Security Council noted that political stability and security as well as increased State presence in areas of conflict are critical for the consolidation of the current political transition and sustainable peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They welcomed the Government’s commitment to reform and to increase the professionalism and integrity of the Congolese armed forces (FARDC) and other security institutions. These are essential elements of the broader strategy for addressing the current state of insecurity in some parts of the country and fighting impunity. They encouraged the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to pursue a flexible approach for the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of former combatants into civilian life with sustainable economic alternatives and opportunities. They further called on bilateral and multilateral partners to increase their support to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in these critical areas, especially wherever local investigation commissions have been set up. They recalled the importance of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its neighbours working together to tackle insecurity in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo with more integrated approaches, including through economic cooperation and integration, and encouraged further efforts to foster sustainable economic development as a driver for regional peace and to address the root causes of conflict, including the illicit exploitation and trafficking of natural resources, as well as through poverty reduction. They welcomed recent steps taken by the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region in that regard. They encouraged initiatives undertaken by the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region secretariat in this respect and called on International Conference member States to further enhance their implementation. They encouraged the signatories of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region to honour their respective commitments and build on the present momentum to work together to promote lasting peace and sustainable development in the region.
The members of the Security Council expressed concern at the continued violence in parts of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, especially the deterioration of the security situation in North Kivu and the continued insecurity in South Kivu and Ituri provinces. They reiterated their condemnation of all armed groups operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, called on all actors to end violence and their violations and abuse of international human rights and international humanitarian law. They welcomed the commitment of the authorities to fighting against impunity for human rights violations and abuses, as well as to end and prevent child recruitment and use, and encouraged them to hold accountable those responsible for such violations and abuses.
The members of the Security Council called on the FARDC to strengthen their efforts to tackle armed groups and on the FARDC and MONUSCO to work together more effectively to that end. They expressed their conviction that MONUSCO has a critical role to play in tackling the security and humanitarian challenges facing the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They look forward to the submission of the independent strategic review in that regard and further discussion in preparation of the upcoming renewal of MONUSCO’s mandate.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their concern regarding the current humanitarian situation, the continued threat posed by the Ebola outbreak and the measles and cholera epidemics in the country, and commended the concerted efforts by the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, World Health Organization (WHO), MONUSCO, the African Union, civil society organizations and other partners to combat the Ebola virus disease. They welcomed the support provided so far to combat the epidemic and appealed to donors and partners to continue providing the necessary support in order to close the humanitarian funding gap as quickly as possible and emphasized the need for continued cooperation and coordination with and between the countries of the Great Lakes region in order to enhance regional preparedness and sustainably address disease outbreaks.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
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.