Statement by the President of the Security Council

New York – After 19 months of a rebellion which has exacerbated the humanitarian strife in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Security Council welcomes the announcement by the M23 to put an end to its rebellion, the government of DRC’s acceptance of this announcement and the cessation of hostilities between the DRC and the M23. The Security Council condemns the violence caused by this rebellion, which has resulted in a significant loss of civilian life, as well as of MONUSCO peacekeepers’ lives, and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of civilians. 

The Security Council calls for the swift conclusion and implementation of a final, comprehensive and agreed outcome, in line with the Kampala talks, that provides for the disarmament and demobilization of the M23 and accountability for human rights abusers. The Council commends the efforts of President Museveni and Defence Minister Kiyonga in facilitating the conclusion of these talks. The Security Council calls for the immediate and permanent disarmament and demobilization of the M23 combatants, with the assistance of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic ofthe  Congo (MONUSCO), in accordance with resolution 2098 (2013).

The Security Council reaffirms its strongest support to the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) and MONUSCO in the implementation of resolution

209S (2013) and urges the continuation of their efforts. The Security Council welcomes

the measures taken by the Special Envoy of the Secretary General, the SRSG and MONUSCO in support of a political solution, in line with a comprehensive strategy for durable peace and security, and commends the active steps taken by MONUSCO to implement  fully  its  mandate, in  particular the  protection  of  civilians.  The  Security Council welcomes the initial steps taken by MONUSCO in its support and lead coordination role of Security Sector Reform (SSR) in the DRC and urges the continuation of these efforts. The Security Council acknowledges the commitment of all troop contributing countries to MONUSCO to implementing the full range of the mission’s responsibilities in line with resolution 2098 (2013).

The Security Council recognizes the significant sacrifices made by MONUSCO and the troop contributing countries and expresses appreciation for their efforts to improve peace and stability in eastern DRC. The Security Council expresses condolences to the families of the peacekeepers killed in action while protecting the people of eastern DRC.  The  Security Council emphasizes that any effmi to  undermine MONUSCO’s ability to implement its mandate will not be tolerated and that those responsible for threats or attacks against peacekeepers must be held accountable.

The Security Council expresses deep concern regarding the sustained regional threat posed by the Forces Democratiques de Liberation du Rwanda (FDLR), a group under  UN  sanctions  whose  leaders  and  members  include  perpetrators  of  the  1994 genocide in Rwanda and have continued to promote and commit ethnically-based and other killings in Rwanda and the DRC, and stresses the importance of permanently addressing this threat. The Security Council stresses the importance of neutralizing the FDLR and all  armed groups, including the ADF, the LRA and  various  Mayi Mayi groups, in line with resolution 2098 (2013).

The Security Council reiterates its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and tenitorial integrity of the DRC as well as of all countries of the region. The Security Council stresses that the government of DRC bears primary responsibility for security, protection of civilians, national reconciliation, peacebuilding and development in the country. It underlines that the recent achievements ofthe  FARDC in defeating M23 on the ground must encourage the government of DRC to sustain efforts to neutralize FDLR and other armed groups. In that regard, the Security Council further welcomes DRC President Joseph Kabila’s public reaffirmation on October 30 that his government intends to neutralize the FDLR and stresses the impmiance  of rapid follow through.

The Security Council further welcomes the November 4 statement by SRSG Kobler noting MONUSCO’s  intention not to allow FDLR and other armed groups, to take advantage of the changing security dynamics on the ground and its commitment to act decisively on all attempts to exploit the situation.

The Security Council strongly condemns the continuing violence and abuses of human rights by all armed groups, including summary executions, sexual and gender based violence and large scale recruitment and use of children, demands that all armed groups cease immediately all forms of violence and destabilizing activities and that their members immediately and permanently disband, lay down their arms and demobilize children from their ranks, and reiterates that those responsible for human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law will be held accountable and should not be eligible for integration into the FARDC or other elements of state security forces.

The Security Council calls upon the government of DRC to remain fully committed to establishing a professional, accountable and sustainable national army, including a Rapid Reaction Force, in accordance with its commitment to deepen SSR. The Security Council takes note of the statement of the president of the DRC, Joseph Kabila, of23  October 2013 in which he indicated that army reform will constitute his top priority, and announced the pursuit of the  electoral process, and his commitment  to ensure that the DRC judicial system will effectively address the cycle of impunity. The Security Council urges the Government of the DRC to finalize the development of a

comprehensive  Dismmament,  Demobilization  and Reintegration  (DDR) and Demobilization,   Repatriation,   Reintegration   and  Resettlement   (DDRRR)   plan.   The Security Council calls on the government of DRC to consolidate state authority, make progress  on  decentralization,   rule  of  law,  and  further  the  agenda  of  reconciliation, tolerance,  and  democratisation,  in  line  with  the  PSC  framework  and  resolution  2098 (2013).

The Security Council recalls that there should be no impunity for any of those responsible  for human rights abuses and violations of intemational  humanitarian  law in the DRC and the region, and, in tllis regard, urges the DRC, all countries of the region and other concemed UN member states to bring perpetrators to justice.

The Security  Council recalls its resolutions  on Women, Peace and Security, and reiterates  that all actors  must  strengthen  their efforts  to combat  impunity  for  conflict­ related sexual violence, to provide all necessary services to survivors, and to ensure the equal and full inclusion of women at all stages of conflict resolution, reconstruction  and the promotion of peace including through taking account ofthe call ofthe 11 July 2013

Bujumbura Declaration for ensuring that benchmarks, indicators and follow-up measures of the plan of implementation  for the PSC Framework are gender-sensitive.  The Security Council  urges the Govemment  of DRC to expedite the investigation  of the November

2012  mass  rapes  committed   by  elements  of  the  FARDC  in  Minova  and  bring  the perpetrators to justice.

The  Security   Council  recalls  its  resolutions   and  presidential   statements   on children  and  armed  conflict  and  reiterates  that  all  parties  in the  DRC  must  halt  and prevent the recruitment and use of children, protect and consider as victims those chlldren who have been released or otherwise separated from armed forces and armed groups, and pay  particular  attention  to  the  protection,  release  and  reintegration   of  all  children associated with armed forces and groups. The Security Council urges the Govemment  of the DRC to continue implementing the action plan to prevent and end the recruitment and use of children and sexual violence against chlldren signed on 4 October 2012.

The Security  Council  expresses  grave  concem  about  the ongoing  humanitarian crisis, including the 2.7 million intemally  displaced people and the 6.4 nlillion people in need of food assistance and emergency agricultural aid, and calls upon all parties to allow safeand  unhindered  access  for the  timely  and full  delivery  of humanitarian  aid  to all civilians   in  urgent  need  of  assistance,   in  accordance   with  relevant   provisions   on intemational   law,  including  international   humanitarian   law  and  the  United  Nations guiding  principles  of  humanitarian  assistance.  The  Security  Council  further  expresses concem  with the over 450,000 refugees who have fled from the DRC and calls upon the DRC and all States in the region to work towards the peaceful environment conducive to the eventual voluntary return and reintegration of refugees to the DRC, with the support,

as  appropriate, of  the  UNHCR.  The Security  Council commends in this  regard the suppmi provided by neighboring countries to refugees from the DRC. The Security Council encourages the Rwandan Government, United Nations and international organisations  to  work  together  to  urgently  address  the  situation  of  former  M23 combatants interned in Eastern Rwanda since March 2013.

The Security Council notes with concern the regional security implications of the conflict  in  eastern  DRC  and  supports  in  this  regard  regional  confidence-building measures, including the Expanded Joint Verification Mechanism (EJVM), and further calls for the completion of its investigations on cross-border incidents. The Security Council welcomes the decision of the ICGLR to grant permanent representation of MONUSCO in the ENM. The Security Council expresses concern at shells landing in Rwanda, which resulted in civilian loss of life, urges the swift conclusion of the ENM investigations into this cross-border shelling, commends the restraint shown so far by Rwanda and urges its continuation. The Security Council further urges restraint by all other parties.

The Security Council stresses the need to address sustainably the root causes of the conflict in eastern DRC and reiterates its support for the implementation of the commitments under the Peace, Security and Cooperation (PSC) Framework for the Democratic Republic of Congo and the region, which is essential to achieving lasting peace and security in the Great Lakes region. The Security Council calls upon all signatories to fulfill promptly, fully and in good faith their respective commitments under the PSC Framework. The Security Council welcomes the November 4 joint Summit of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and the Southern­ African Development Community (SADC) in Pretoria. The Security Council commends the engagement of Special Envoy Mary Robinson and encourages her, in coordination with and with appropriate support from the SRSG for the DRC, to continue to lead, coordinate and assess the implementation of national and regional commitments under the PSC Framework.

The Security Council encourages the United Nations, the African Union, the ICGLR, SADC and other relevant international and regional organisations to continue to work  together,  with  the   sustained  engagement  and  support  of  the  international community, towards the implementation of the PSC Framework, and the establishment of a broader dialogue among key parties that addresses the deeper drivers of conflict in eastern Congo.