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Security Council strengthens UN mission in DR of Congo, extends mandate

Security Council strengthens UN mission in DR of Congo, extends mandate

UN Security Council in session
The Security Council today adopted a resolution that strengthens the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) through the addition of police officers, and extends the operation's mandate until 15 June 2002, subject to an assessment every four months.

Adopting the resolution unanimously, the Council approved Secretary-General Kofi Annan's revised concept of operations, which includes the creation of a civilian police component and an integrated civilian/military planning section to coordinate disarmament and reintegration operations.

That concept of operations also includes reinforcing MONUC's presence in Kisingani, and strengthening the operation's logistic capability to support current and future deployment. The Council also authorized MONUC to assist, upon request and on a voluntary basis, in the early disarmament and reintegration of armed groups, and requested the Secretary-General to deploy military observers as necessary.

On the subject of withdrawal by foreign forces, the Council asked Mr. Annan to submit proposals on how MONUC could monitor the implementation of the pullout plans being drafted by the Political Committee which comprises signatories to the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement, and to assign human rights personnel to areas where MONUC is deployed.

The Council demanded once again all other foreign forces' withdrawal from the DRC in compliance with its resolution 1304 of last year and the Lusaka accord, and urged those forces to accelerate their withdrawal. It also called on all the parties to refrain from any offensive action during the pullout process.

The Security Council demanded that the FLC (Front de Libération du Congo) disengage and withdraw its forces in accordance with the Harare subplans and the commitment it made to the Council mission in their meeting of 25 May 2001, and expressed its intention to monitor that process. It also demanded that the RCD (Rassemblement Congolais pour la démocratie) demilitarize Kisangani and that all parties respect the demilitarization of the city and its environs.

Stressing that a durable peace in the DRC could not be achieved at the expense of peace in Burundi, the Council requested the Secretary-General and interested Member States to make proposals on how to address those inter-related crises.

The Council also stressed that there would be durable peace only if all the countries of the region were successful in defining amongst themselves the rules by which to promote security and development, and reaffirmed in that regard that an international conference on peace, security, democracy and development in the region should be organized under the aegis of the UN and the Organization of African Unity (OAU).