Security Council Presidential Statement: the Democratic Republic of the Congo
5 November 2014
The Security Council expresses its deep concern over the lack of progress of the voluntary disarmament process of the Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda (FDLR), as assessed by the joint International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) – Southern African Development Community (SADC) communique of 20 October. The Security Council recalls its press statement of 3 October and stresses again that there should be no further delay beyond the 2 January 2015 end date set by the region for the voluntary disarmament process. The Security Council calls on MONUSCO and the DRC government to immediately update operational plans for military action that should begin no later than January against the FDLR. The Security Council reiterates once again its call on the government of DRC, in coordination with MONUSCO, to immediately undertake military action against those leaders and members of the FDLR who do not engage in the demobilization process or who continue to carry out human rights abuses.
The Security Council further recalls that the swift neutralisation of the FDLR is a top priority in bringing stability to and protecting the civilians of the DRC and the Great Lakes region, in line with the wider commitments made in the Peace, Security and Cooperation (PSC) Framework for the DRC and the region. The Security Council recalls that leaders and members of the FDLR were among the perpetrators of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, during which Hutu and others who opposed the genocide were also killed, and recalled that the FDLR is a group under United Nations sanctions, operating in the DRC, and which has continued to promote and commit ethnically based and other killings in Rwanda and in the DRC. The Security Council reiterates its call on the region to comply with the commitments under the PSC Framework and to neither tolerate nor provide assistance or support of any kind to armed groups and to neither harbor nor provide protection of any kind to persons accused of violations and abuses of international humanitarian law and human rights law, in particular war crimes, crimes against humanity, acts of genocide, or persons falling under the United Nations sanctions regime. The Security Council further reiterates its readiness to consider targeted sanctions against any individual or entity found to be supporting the FDLR or any other armed group in the DRC.
The Security Council strongly condemns the recent attacks by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in the Beni territory, brutally killing over 100 civilians, mostly women and children. The Security Council takes note of president Kabila’s statement to immediately engage further military action to neutralize this group permanently, with the support of MONUSCO. According to its resolution 2147 (2014), the Security Council underlines the importance of ensuring effective protection of civilians. The Security Council emphasizes that any effort to undermine MONUSCO’s ability to implement its mandate will not be tolerated and that those responsible for threats or attacks against peacekeepers must be held accountable.
The Security Council recalls the importance of completing the permanent demobilization of the former 23 March movement (M23) combatants and calls for the acceleration of the implementation of the Disarmament, Demobilization, Repatriation, Reintegration and Resettlement (DDRRR) programme, in coordination with the regional states concerned. The Security Council stresses the need for all parties to overcome barriers to repatriation at the 7 November meeting in Kinshasa and reminds former M23 combatants of their commitments under the Nairobi declarations.
The Security Council stresses that the durable return of stability in the DRC and the region also requires the swift fulfilment of implementation of the reforms committed to by the government of DRC in the PSC Framework for the DRC and the region. The Security Council stresses the strategic importance of this agreement and called upon all signatories to work together in a reinvigorated way in order to ensure delivery of the commitments made under the Framework. The Security Council expresses concern over the continued slow progress on Security Sector Reform (SSR) in the DRC, including the establishment of an FARDC Rapid Reaction Force, and calls on the government of DRC to consolidate progress on the restoration of State authority and the wider governance, economic and SSR reforms needed in the DRC.
The Security Council expresses its full support to the mandate of good offices of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General as outlined in its resolution 2147 (2014). The Security Council also welcomes the engagement of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes region and called on him, in coordination with the Special Representative for the DRC, to continue to lead, coordinate and assess the implementation of the national and regional commitments under the PSC framework.
The Security Council recalls that the government of the DRC and its national partners bear responsibility for ensuring a transparent and credible electoral process. The Security Council calls for the publication of a comprehensive electoral calendar and budget and underlines the importance of full and timely planning and preparation for upcoming Parliamentary and Presidential elections. The Security Council reiterates the importance of a free, fair, inclusive and peaceful election process that respects the will of the Congolese people, in line with the DRC’s national commitments made under the PSC agreement aimed at furthering the agenda of reconciliation, tolerance and democratization.The Security Council underlines that successful and credible elections in line with the DRC Constitution would be a key element in the continuing work to promote democracy, human rights and the rule of law in the DRC, and form a key part of efforts to build long-term peace and stability in the region.
The Security Council also recalls that logistical support could be provided by MONUSCO only once the electoral cycle roadmap and budget have been adopted. The Security Council also recalls that this support will be continually assessed and reviewed according to the progress made by the Congolese authorities in the steering of the electoral process, in accordance with the criteria set out in paragraph 16 of its resolution 2053 (2012).
The Security Council recalls the importance of promoting and protecting human rights and fighting impunity. The Security Council notes with deep concern the persistence of serious human rights abuses and international humanitarian law violations against civilians in the DRC committed by armed groups, including the FDLR. The Security Council also expresses deep concern at reports and allegations indicating the persistence of serious human rights and international humanitarian law violations committed by Congolese security and defense forces, and reiterates the need to fight against impunity in this regard.
In this context, the Security Council expresses its grave concern at the decision of the government of the DRC to expel the head of the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office in the DRC. The Security Council further expresses concern over recent threats made against other staff members in the office. The Security Council recalls that monitoring, reporting and follow-up on human rights violations and abuses and violations of international humanitarian law are fully part of MONUSCO’s mandate and expresses its full support to the Joint Human Rights Office, to MONUSCO and to the UN personnel. The Security Council recalls the importance of the obligations and commitments of the government of the DRC in terms of promotion and protection of human rights and fight against impunity, and calls on the DRC government to investigate the allegations included in the report. The Security Council calls for continued cooperation and dialogue between MONUSCO and the government of the DRC. In this regard, the Security Council takes note of the letter of the Permanent Representative of the DRC to the Security Council on 20 October 2014 and of the willingness expressed by the government of the DRC to continue to work with MONUSCO, including the Joint Human Rights Office.
The Security Council reiterates its full support for MONUSCO and calls on all parties to cooperate fully with the mission and to remain committed to the full and objective implementation of the mission’s mandate. The Security Council commends the work of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the DRC.