Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Anna Evstigneeva at UNSC briefing on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
We thank Special Representative Bintou Keita and Deputy Permanent Representative of Gabon Lily Ngyema for the briefings. We also followed closely the remarks by Secretary General of the East African Community Peter Mathuki and CSO representative Rebecca Kabuo. We welcome Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the DRC Christophe Lutundula. We believe the participation of Permanent Representatives of Burundi and Rwanda to the United Nations is very important.
This year the Security Council had to convene more frequently than it normally would to discuss the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It confirms that DRC is home to very serious developments from which the Security Council cannot stay aside. First of all, it applies to the eastern provinces of the country, where due to activities of numerous illegal armed formations, violence and lawlessness have become a fact of life for the local population. Increased activities of M23 group aggravated the situation considerably. The latest offensive of M23 towards the city of Goma exacerbated the humanitarian crisis, increased the number of IDPs and refugees, and caused human suffering.
Other illegal armed formations also carry on with their outrageous activities – the Allied Democratic Forces, CODECO, Mai-Mai, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, RED-Tabara, etc. There full list is so long that it may take all of my statement to recite it.
We are deeply concerned over the tragic events in Kishisha on 29 November. We hope that the Council will discover all the details, and that the perpetrators will be identified and held accountable.
We see that Kinshasa and countries of the region remain committed to overcoming the instability in eastern DRC. We welcome their relevant efforts undertaken in the framework of the Nairobi Process and under the mediation of Luanda. We believe it is essential to conjugate and coordinate those efforts in the interests of normalization in the east of the DR Congo and the Great Lakes Region at large. The deployment of East African Community’s regional forces needs to take place given the support of the global community, direct coordination with MONUSCO and under the leading role of official Kinshasa. This is something very important, because commitment to national unity and unification of all political forces in the interests of establishing sovereignty over the entire territory of the country appears to be a logical follow-up to the “persevering and inspired struggle for independence carried on from day to day” that Patrice Lumumba spoke about and for which cause the Congolese people made large sacrifice, went through sufferings and hardships. This remains absolutely relevant today, and the global community should provide assistance in order to address these tasks.
We must keep working to come up with political and non-violent solutions for eastern DRC. Once found, those will allow for a comprehensive cessation of hostilities and create practical conditions for a lasting stabilization. In this connection, we welcome the commitment of the DRC government to negotiations with armed groups at the political track of the Nairobi Process, another round of which concluded shortly.
Another important thing is that efforts must continue aimed at implementation of basic fundamental agreements, such as the 2013 Peace, Security, and Cooperation Framework for eastern DRC and the GLR.
States of the region need to arrive at an understanding that in the long run, their well-being and prosperity will first of all depend on the nature of their interaction with one another. We call on our African friends to demonstrate good will and commitment to a constructive neighborly dialogue in order to find solutions to the African problems.
Otherwise there will be no way to overcome the humanitarian crisis, resolve mutual concerns in the military and political area, guarantee sustainable socio-economic development and advancement of integrative processes.
We reiterate our principled support for the efforts of MONUSCO, its leadership and its peacekeepers, and also for the activity of SESG Huang Xia. As for the implementation of the joint transition plan for a phased drawdown and withdrawal of MONUSCO, we believe we should proceed from the situation on the ground, act in a gradual and responsible manner.
We hope that with the assistance of MONUSCO and regional partners, the Congolese will be able to recover control of the situation and move on to implementation of the long-pending measures that should address the root causes of the developments in eastern DRC. Those root causes are well known. It is all about DRC’s vast natural resources. As we know, the glitter of those riches attracts people’s eye and makes them show their not very best selves. We are convinced that the Congolese will find a way to turn their mineral deposits from a source of problems into a source of national prosperity and well-being. This can be achieved if the global community shows its relevant support and genuine involvement.
In conclusion, we welcome the publicizing of the electoral calendar and continued preparations of the DRC leadership for the elections in December next year. This is an important milestone for the country, which confirms that the Congolese are committed to peaceful development and participation in political processes, and willing to live a normal and safe life as citizens of their homeland. We also advocate for the soonest possible adjustment of the DRC sanctions regime so that the security sector of the country could be fully equipped and prepared to address the outstanding challenges.