Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Anna Evstigneeva at UNSC briefing on the situation in the Great Lakes Region


We thank Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region (GLR), Mr. Huang Xia, and Executive Secretary of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, Mr. João Samuel Caholo for the briefings. We also listened carefully to the presentation by Mr. Dinesh Mahtani. We welcome representatives of the Democratic of the Congo and regional states to this meeting.

The precarious situation in eastern DRC remains a key factor influencing the state of affairs in the Great Lakes Region. Unfortunately, despite the joint military operation of Congolese and Ugandan forces and relevant efforts of MONUSCO peacekeepers, illegal armed formations build up their activity in DR Congo’s eastern regions.

Another tragic manifestation of that was the downing of a MONUSCO helicopter by militants on 29 March 2022. Among other peacekeepers, on board the helicopter there was a Russian military observer, Lieutenant Colonel Alexei Mizura. We extend our heartfelt condolences to friends and families of all the deceased peacekeepers. It is crucial that a thorough and transparent investigation of this incident be conducted, i.a. by the UN Secretariat. The responsible must be held to account.

We are concerned over reported ties between some illegal armed formations operating in the DRC and terrorist organizations. We reiterate our commitment to combating international terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

We are convinced that lasting stabilization in the DRC cannot be effected through military measures alone. Efforts need to be made to ensure full implementation of the 2013 Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region, improve socio-economic situation in the GLR, effectively implement programs for disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of former combatants, promote national reconciliation.

The problem of illegal exploitation of natural resources remains very urgent. Militants use them to finance their activities and enhance combat capacity.

In general, we give a positive assessment to dynamic of the dialogue that states of the Great Lakes Region have established. We commend their commitment to developing practical cooperation in the interests of stabilization. We also welcome the peacekeeping role played by leaders of GLR states, as well as sub-regional organizations – Southern African Development Community and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region. Hopefully, the meeting of heads of states and governments of the Regional Oversight Mechanism of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework that took place in February will foster sub-regional cooperation and expedite the peace process. We also note the high-level meeting in Nairobi where states of the region were able to make some important agreements.

We fully support efforts of the United Nations aimed at promoting the Strategy for peace, conflict prevention and settlement, as well as UN engagement on the Plan of Action for implementation of this Strategy.

On our part, we stand ready to promote stabilization in the Great Lakes Region by encouraging dialogue and constructive cooperation of its states. We are committed to meaningful engagement with relevant UN institutions and representatives.

Thank you.