Noting the encouraging political developments in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the surrounding region, the Security Council today called on all parties to recommit themselves to taking forward these processes and to refrain from any military action that would undermine the progress for peace.
In a wide-ranging statement on the situation in the DRC, read out in an open meeting by Council President Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock of the United Kingdom, the 15-member body reiterated the importance it attached to an all-inclusive agreement on the political transition in the country, taking into account the progress achieved at the talks held in Sun City, South Africa.
The statement also expressed the Council’s full support for the efforts of Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Envoy, Mustapha Niasse, as well as his Special Representative, Amos Namanga Ngongi, and the UN mission in the country, MONUC. It demanded that the rebel Rally for Congolese Democracy-Goma (RCD-Goma) cooperate with their efforts.
The Council also welcomed the efforts and good offices of South Africa and of the Secretary-General to help the DRC and Rwanda reach an agreement to tackle the problem of armed groups and to take forward the withdrawal of Rwandan troops.
The statement encouraged the leaders of the DRC and Rwanda to continue working out ways to address their fundamental security concerns, and welcomed the talks between the representatives of the two countries on the idea of a curtain of troops as a mechanism for countries of the region to cooperate to ensure the security of their common borders.
Turning to the ongoing conflict in the DRC, the Council reiterated its condemnation of the killings that took place earlier this year in Kisangani and stressed that the RCD-Goma was responsible for the massacres and would be held accountable for any extrajudicial executions.
The statement demanded the rebel group take the necessary measures to bring to justice the perpetrators and those who ordered or were involved in the 14 May massacre. It also stressed that Rwanda had a duty to use its “strong influence” to ensure that RCD-Goma comply with the Council’s demands, as well as guarantee that the rebel group would not kill any members of civil society or its detainees held in Kisangani.
The Council asked MONUC, along with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, to continue its investigations into the killings in order to gather further information and to make recommendations on concrete measures to effectively “end impunity.”
The statement said that RCD-Goma must demilitarize Kisangani and stressed that this action would prevent any further recurrence of these tragic events. It also said that the group must cooperate with MONUC and the High Commissioner’s Office in their investigations.
The Council’s statement also addressed the strengthening of troops in the eastern part of the DRC, voicing “deep concern” particularly at the situation in South Kivu, and at the rising tensions in the Ituri region, calling on all parties to exert restraint.