SECURITY COUNCIL PRESS STATEMENT ON DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
NEW YORK, May 4, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The following Security Council press statement was issued on 3 May by Council President Agshin Mehdiyev ( Azerbaijan):
The members of the Council were briefed by the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Hervé Ladsous, on the situation in North and South Kivu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The members of the Council expressed their serious concern over the recent attacks by armed groups in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, in particular former elements of the Congrès national pour la défense du peuple (CNDP), under the leadership of Bosco Ntaganda, against the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) and called for an immediate end to the rebellion. They further expressed deep concern over the worsening security and humanitarian situation in the area, and particularly the increasing number of displaced persons in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and refugees in neighbouring countries. They supported the efforts of the Congolese authorities to address these challenges. They urged the Congolese authorities to continue to do this professionally, ensuring that civilians are protected.
The members of the Council reiterated their demand that all armed groups, especially the Forces Democratiques de Liberation du Rwanda (FDLR) and defecting elements of the CNDP, immediately cease all forms of violence, including sexual violence, and human rights abuses against the civilian population in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, lay down their arms and demobilize. They stressed the importance of disarming and dismantling all armed groups operating in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and called for continued cooperation in this regard between countries of the region. They also stressed the importance of continuing an effective demobilization, disarmament, repatriation, resettlement and reintegration process.
The members of the Council encouraged the Congolese authorities, with the support of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), to continue their efforts to develop and implement a comprehensive national security sector development strategy, in order to establish democratic, accountable and professional national security institutions. They recalled the importance of addressing the underlying issue of the cohesion of the national Army, including by ensuring proper integration and vetting of former armed groups, in particular the CNDP, into the FARDC. They also recalled the need for all crimes, including crimes against women and children, to be expeditiously investigated and the need for all perpetrators of those crimes, in particular Bosco Ntaganda, to be brought to justice.
The members of the Council further stressed the importance of the Congolese Government actively seeking to hold accountable those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the country and of regional cooperation to this end, including through cooperation with the International Criminal Court, and called upon MONUSCO to assist, within its mandate, the Government in this regard.
The Members of the Council expressed their full support to MONUSCO in the implementation of its mandate, in particular its actions to protect civilians at risk.