Following the rebel RCD-Goma’s recent capture of Moliro in the southeastern corner of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Security Council today demanded that the rebel troops immediately and unconditionally withdraw from the strategic town.
The Council condemned the town’s capture in a unanimous resolution, stressing that it was a major violation of the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement and that no party to that agreement should be allowed to make military gains “while a peace process is under way and while a [UN] peacekeeping operation is deployed.”
Demanding also that RCD-Goma troops withdraw from illegally occupied Pweto to permit the town’s demilitarisation, the Council reminded the rebel force and all other parties that they must comply with their obligations outlined in the Lusaka Agreement, the disengagement plan and relevant Council resolutions.
The 15-member body also called on Rwanda to exert its influence on RCD-Goma (the Congolese Rally for Democracy), so that the rebels would implement today’s demands.
Meanwhile, the resolution welcomed the deployment of the UN Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC) in Moliro and Pweto, and called on all parties to cooperate with the peacekeepers.
Earlier Tuesday, the Council received a closed-door briefing from UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Marie Guéhenno about recent developments in the DRC, notably the fighting in Moliro.
According to a UN spokesperson, MONUC has deployed an observer team in Moliro and is expected to maintain a permanent presence in the town. The Mission also reported that some fighting was still going on in and around Moliro, with elements of the RCD reportedly heading for the area of Zongwe.
- Security Council meeting