Security Council Presidential Statement on the situation in eastern DRC
1. The Security Council expresses its deep concern regarding the deteriorating security and humanitarian crisis in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) due to ongoing military and other destabilizing activities of the 23 March Movement (M23) as well as other armed groups.
2. The Security Council strongly condemns the M23 and all its attacks on the civilian population, United Nations peacekeepers and humanitarian actors, as well as its abuses of human rights, including summary executions, sexual and gender based violence and large scale recruitment and use of child soldiers. The Security Council also condemns the attempts by the M23 to establish a parallel administration and to undermine State authority. The Security Council demands that the M23 and other armed groups, including the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), cease immediately all forms of violence and other destabilizing activities.
3. The Security Council calls for perpetrators, including individuals responsible for violence against children and acts of sexual violence, to be apprehended, brought to justice and held accountable for violations of applicable international law. The Security Council expresses its intention to apply targeted sanctions against the leadership of the M23 and those acting in violation of the sanctions regime and the arms embargo and calls on all Member States to submit, as a matter of urgency, listing proposals to the 1533 Committee.
4. The Security Council expresses its deep concern with the increasing number of displaced persons and refugees, with 320,000 people displaced from their homes in North Kivu province since the M23 mutiny started in April 2012. It calls on all parties, in particular the M23, to allow safe, timely and unhindered humanitarian access to the areas under the control of M23 and in the wider region in accordance with international law, including applicable international humanitarian law and the guiding principles of humanitarian assistance. It expresses concern about the shortfall in funding for humanitarian assistance and reiterates its call on the international community to provide appropriate humanitarian support. It also expresses concern at the possible negative impact of the prevailing situation in North Kivu on the security and humanitarian situation in South Kivu.
5. The Security Council reaffirms its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the DRC and emphasizes the need to respect fully the principles of non-interference, good neighborliness and regional cooperation. It reiterates its strong condemnation of any and all external support to the M23. In this regard, the Security Council expresses deep concern at reports indicating that such support continues to be provided to the M23 by neighboring countries. The Security Council demands that any and all outside support to the M23 as well as other armed groups cease immediately.
6. The Security Council calls upon all countries in the region to condemn the M23 as well as other armed groups and to cooperate actively with the Congolese authorities in disarming and demobilizing the M23 as well as other armed groups and dismantling the M23 parallel administration.
7. The Security Council emphasizes the primary responsibility of the Government of the DRC to reinforce State authority and governance in eastern DRC, including through effective security sector reform to allow army and police reform, and to end impunity for abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, and urges the Government of the DRC to address issues of illegal exploitation and smuggling of natural resources.
8. The Security Council welcomes the efforts of the United Nations Secretary General as well as of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union, to restore peace and security in Eastern DRC. It also stresses the urgency of constructive engagement and dialogue between the DRC and its neighbors, especially Rwanda, and the need to address the underlying causes of the conflict in eastern DRC. It calls on the UN Secretary General to continue his good offices and to explore, when appropriate, further high-level diplomatic mechanisms to facilitate enhanced dialogue between relevant parties, including on the underlying causes of the conflict.
9. The Security Council welcomes the establishment of the Expanded Joint Verification Mechanism (EJVM), which was launched by the ICGLR on 14 September as an important starting point for rebuilding confidence between the DRC and Rwanda. It further welcomes the support provided by the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) to the EJVM and encourages, in coordination with ICGLR members, the participation of MONUSCO, as appropriate and within the limits of its capacities and mandate, in the activities of the EJVM and the reporting on any flow of arms and related materiel across borders of Eastern DRC.
10. The Security Council takes note of the decisions by the ICGLR and the AU regarding the deployment of a “Neutral International Force” in eastern DRC and takes note of the ongoing coordination efforts between these organizations and the United Nations to clarify the objectives, modalities and means of the proposed Force in relation to MONUSCO.
11. The Security Council expresses its full support to the UN Group of Experts of the 1533 Committee and calls for enhanced cooperation between all States, particularly those in the region, and the Group of Experts, encourages further that all parties and all States ensure cooperation with the Group of Experts by individuals and entities within their jurisdiction or under their control and reiterates its demand that all parties and all States ensure the safety of its members, and unhindered and immediate access, in particular to persons, documents and sites the Group of Experts deems relevant to the execution of its mandate.
12. The Security Council expresses its full support to MONUSCO and commends the active measures it has taken to implement its mandate in eastern DRC, especially protecting civilians, and encourages the continuation of these efforts. The Security Council requests the Secretary General to present to the Security Council a special report on possible options, and their implications, for reinforcing the ability of MONUSCO to implement its mandate, including to protect civilians and report on flows of arms and related materiel across borders of Eastern DRC, focusing in particular on force multipliers. It calls on all parties to cooperate fully with the Mission and reiterates its condemnation of any attacks on its peacekeepers. The Security Council recalls that the Congolese Government bears the primary responsibility for ensuring security in its territory and protecting its civilians. The Security Council recalls the importance of close consultations with troop- and police- contributing countries.