The United Nations Security Council today renewed its sanctions on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to prevent the supply, sale or transfer of arms, training, and financing, to armed groups.
Unanimously adopting a new resolution, the 15-member Council renewed until 1 July 2016 the arms embargo and related sanctions imposed on the DRC, as well as, until 1 August 2016, the mandate of the Group of Experts monitoring the implementation of those measures.
Council members also noted with great concern that the 2 January deadline set by the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has passed, and that the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) has “not only failed to unconditionally and fully surrender and demobilize, but has also continued to recruit new fighters in their ranks.”
The Security Council further defined the criteria for the application of targeted travel and financial measures, deciding to review them no later than 1 July 2016, with a view to adjusting them as appropriate.
Strongly condemning all armed groups operating in the region, the Council demanded, by the text, that the FDLR, Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and all other armed groups immediately cease all violence, “lay down their arms,” and to demobilize children from their ranks.
By other terms, the resolution called on all States, especially those in the region, to take steps to ensure there was no support within or from their territories for armed groups in eastern DRC. It demanded that the Congolese Government, per its commitments contained in the 12 December 2013 Nairobi Declarations, accelerate implementation of its disarmament demobilization and reintegration programme.
Additionally, the Council stressed the importance of the Government of the DRC to hold accountable those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the country, including through its cooperation with the International Criminal Court.