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Security Council condemns attacks by rebel group against UN mission in DR of Congo

Security Council condemns attacks by rebel group against UN mission in DR of Congo

Amb. Wehbe
The Security Council today strongly condemned recent acts of intimidation and unfounded public attacks against the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), particularly by the rebel Rally for Congolese Democracy-Goma (RCD-Goma).

In a statement read out at a formal meeting of the Council by current its President, Ambassador Mikhail Wehbe of Syria, the 15-member body also condemned attempts by the RCD-Goma to ban Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Representative, Amos Namanga Ngongi, and to expel several MONUC personnel from areas under its control.

"The Security Council stresses that these unjustifiable attacks are directly in contradiction to the process of peace and reconciliation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and to RCD-Goma's interests," Ambassador Wehbe said, noting that the Council reaffirmed its "full support for the Special Representative and the dedicated staff of MONUC."

The statement also demanded that RCD-Goma immediately cease harassment of UN officials and assist in MONUC's deployment and operations. The rebel group was also asked to cooperate fully in investigating recent events in Kisangani, to demilitarize the city and to comply fully with Council resolutions. The Council called on Rwanda to exert its influence on RCD-Goma to meet those demands without delay.

The Council reiterated its condemnation of the killings and attacks against civilians and soldiers following events that took place on 14 May in Kisangani, and said it looked forward to receiving the joint report and recommendations by MONUC and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the violence in that strategic area.

According to a preliminary report by MONUC, about 50 people were killed during the disturbances, which began when armed men took over a radio station and urged the local population to take up arms against ethnic Rwandans. Once security troops loyal to the RCD had regained control of the station, RCD officials warned people in public broadcasts to stay at home and clearly threatened anyone who would not follow the instructions.

The Council held RCD-Goma, as the de facto authority in the area, responsible for bringing to an end "all extrajudicial executions, human rights violations and arbitrary harassment of civilians in Kisangani and all other areas under RCD-Goma's control," the statement said.

The Council also encouraged the DRC Government and the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC) and RCD-Goma to hold new discussions as soon as possible in good faith, taking into account progress in the inter-Congolese Dialogue achieved at Sun City, South Africa, in order to reach an all-inclusive agreement on the political transition.