Welcoming the improvement of relations between post-conflict Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and its neighbours, the United Nations Security Council today called on the DRC Government to turn its attention to promoting domestic human rights and accelerating the integration of irregular forces into military or civilian life.
The 15-member Council welcomed "the improvement of bilateral relations between the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and Uganda and encouraged them to work on concrete confidence building measures," according to a statement read by Ambassador Stefan Tafrov of Bulgaria, the Council president for December.
The Council had had an update on the DRC from Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Marie Guéhenno.
The members urged all the parties to the conflict, including the DRC Government, to stop violations of human rights and international humanitarian law and to prosecute those who "have committed, ordered, solicited, facilitated or in other way contributed to the commission of such crimes."
They also recommended that the Government and the National Parliament of the DRC conduct national consultations on forming a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and adopt a revised TRC law upholding human rights principles.
Mr. Guéhenno said he had told the Council that the DRC needed to create programmes to help the Rwandan fighters who wished to return home and the local Mayi-Mayi fighters who wanted either to return to civilian life or to be integrated into the DRC's national army.
In preparation for the 2005 elections, all foreign armed groups in the DRC would have to enter Disarmament, Demobilization, Repatriation, Resettlement and Reintegration (DDRRR) programmes, he said, while the country made sure it had established a good security sector.