Security Council calls for immediate ceasefire in eastern DR of Congo

Security Council calls for immediate ceasefire in eastern DR of Congo

Amb. Martin Belinga-Eboutou
Expressing concern that continuing violence in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) threatens the stability of the country and the region, the United Nations Security Council today called on all parties to the conflict to cease hostilities “immediately and without preconditions.”

In a statement read out at an open meeting by its President, Ambassador Martin Belinga-Eboutou of Cameroon, the Council called on the DRC Government and all others in the region to exert their influence on the parties to stop the fighting, and to refrain from any action that would further exacerbate the situation or undermine the peace process.

“The Security Council calls on all parties and armed groups involved in the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to commit themselves to achieving a peaceful settlement for the region, and condemns any attempt to use military action to influence the peace process,” the Council said.

The statement condemned the attack on Uvira by Maï-Maï and other forces, and voiced great concern over the build-up of forces around Bukavu as well as other destabilizing developments in the region.

The Council also condemned ethnically targeted violence in the Ituri region, and asked all parties to take immediate action to defuse tensions, ensure the protection of civilians and end human rights violations. It requested the UN Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC) to support efforts by Uganda and the DRC to set up an Ituri Pacification Commission.

“The Security Council stresses that no government, military force or any other organization or individual should provide military or other supplies or any other form of support to any of the groups involved in the fighting in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi,” the statement said.

The Council urged the parties to reach agreement on an all-inclusive transitional Government, and welcomed the progress on the pull-out of foreign troops from DRC territory, stressing that this withdrawal process must be completed.

The statement also called on the DRC and Burundi to quickly conclude an agreement on the normalization of relations and cooperation in security matters.