The head of the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) today said the resolution adopted by the Security Council on 9 November provides the UN operation with a roadmap that will guide its actions in the coming months.
Speaking at a press conference in Kinshasa, Amos Namanga Ngongi stressed that the UN's efforts alone would not suffice in ensuring the successful implementation of the resolution, which "demands that the belligerents themselves meet certain prerequisites," including the withdrawal of foreign forces and the demilitarization of Kisangani.
In that context, Mr. Ngongi said MONUC would send an appropriate military force to Kisangani "to ensure that the peacefulness of the population is not disturbed by hostile attacks once demilitarization is completed," and that it planned to train hundreds of police officers that would help maintain public security.
Mr. Ngongi also announced that MONUC had screened a group of former Rwandan combatants in Kamina, and presented over 1,700 men to the UN operation in the presence of the Minister of Security and Public Order and the UN Force Commander, Major-General Mountaga Diallo.
"The disarmament as well as the repatriation will be voluntary," the Mission chief said. "MONUC will not forcibly impose and will not condone any method which does not enter into the terms of its mandate."
He also said the Kamina effort was a test for the disarmament programme. "We are counting on the goodwill of all the parties to bring to a positive end this process, which must be completed for the sustainability and credibility of the operation," he said. "Otherwise the unresolved problems of today will catch up with us tomorrow."
Responding to a question about whether the events in Afghanistan would relegate the conflict in the DRC to a secondary issue, Mr. Ngongi said the UN had demonstrated its awareness of the importance of the Congolese issue by organizing a meeting of the Political Committee on its own, as well as a meeting of that Committee with the Security Council. "The culmination of these meetings was the adoption of Security Council resolution 1376," he said.