Renewing the sanctions regime imposed on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Security Council today also extended by 12 months the mandate of the Group of Experts overseeing their implementation.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2582 (2021) under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, the 15-member Council decided to renew until 1 July 2022 measures set out in paragraphs 1 to 6 of resolution 2293 (2016) pertaining to an arms embargo, travel ban and asset freeze. These measures require all States to refrain from, among other things, providing weapons to non-governmental entities operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
By other terms, the Council reaffirmed that the financial and travel measures described in paragraph 5 of resolution 2293 (2016) shall apply to individuals and entities designated by the related Security Council Sanctions Committee, as set forth in paragraph 7 of resolution 2293 (2016) and paragraph 3 of resolution 2360 (2017). These measures outline acts that undermine the peace, stability or security of the country, including attacks on peacekeepers with the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), United Nations personnel and members of the Group of Experts.
In renewing the sanctions, the Council decided that these measures shall also apply to individuals and entities designated by the Security Council Sanctions Committee for planning, directing, sponsoring or participating in attacks against medical personnel or humanitarian personnel.
The Council demanded that States ensure that all measures taken to implement this resolution comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law, international human rights law and international refugee law, as applicable. It also called for enhanced cooperation between all States, particularly those in the region, and the Group of Experts. The Council requested the Group of Experts to provide a mid-term report by 30 December 2021, and a final report by 15 June 2022, as well as monthly updates.
Speaking after the vote, Geng Shuang (China) said that sanctions are only a means, not an end. As such, he expressed hope that the Government will assume its full responsibility over these related matters.
Paul Losoko Efambe Empole (Democratic Republic of the Congo) raised several concerns about the resolution. Regarding the presence of armed groups in the country’s eastern region, he said a military offensive has weakened their influence, and all efforts are being made to break the cycle of violence. To do this, the new mandate of the Group of Experts should examine recent steps and review the measures, as needed. The sanctions in paragraph 2 should also apply to persons designated by the Security Council Sanctions Committee involved with acquiring materials to make improvised explosive devices, he said, stressing that the latest explosions of these weapons occurred in a church and in the centre of a city.
He also expressed concern over the Group of Experts’ resistance to recognize the link between the Allied Democratic Forces and Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh). Pointing out that the Democratic Republic of the Congo actively participates in counter‑terrorism meetings and efforts, he called on the international community to recognize the link between these two terrorist groups, adding that “we cannot let this consolidation occur”. Appropriate targeted sanctions must be adopted against these groups. Recalling recent related actions, including the prosecution of arms traffickers, he pointed out that adequate security measures must be ensured as the country prepares for the MONUSCO drawdown.
The meeting began at 3:05 p.m. and ended at 3:19 p.m.