Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Anna Evstigneeva at UNSC briefing on the situation in the DR Congo
We thank Special Representative of the Secretary- General and Head of MONUSCO Ms. Bintou Keita for an informative briefing. We thank Permanent Representative of Niger Ambassador Abarry for his report on the activity of UNSC Committee 1533. We also listened carefully to the remarks of Ms. Nelly Mbangu.
We follow with concern the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, especially in its eastern regions. Unfortunately, armed forces of the DRC and MONUSCO peacekeepers have not been able to curb activity of numerous illegal armed formations yet – Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in the first place. Violence is on the rise, and there are increasingly more casualties among civilians, which is very worrisome. According to the sad statistics provided by the United Nations, more than 600 civilians died at the hands of militants in Ituri and North Kivu from June to September this year. The problem of illegal exploitation of DRC’s natural resources by armed groups still persists.
In order to combat militants effectively, coordination between the DRC security forces and the peacekeepers needs to be enhanced, and their potential – strengthened. We support MONUSCO’s plans to create a joint center with the Congolese armed forces, and strengthen the Force Intervention Brigade. We also commend the efforts of SRSG Keita aimed at establishing contacts between the peacekeepers and local population and authorities, which creates the much-needed positive environment.
At the same time, we see a tendency towards gradual improvement of the situation in Kasai and Tanganyika.
The humanitarian situation remains rather complex. We are concerned over the low level of UN humanitarian appeal, especially against an increase in IDPs. It goes without saying that extra efforts are needed to respond to the common challenge – COVID-19 pandemic.
We expect the government to win back control in the area of security, focus on improving the humanitarian situation, promote sustainable socio-economic development and resolution of border disputes with neighboring state, as well as implement the DDR strategy for former combatants.
We have taken notice of a transition plan for step-by-step withdrawal of MONUSCO that was put forward by the United Nations in coordination with the Congolese authorities. We will study this initiative thoroughly. It is our principled position that military measures alone will not be able to ensure lasting stabilization in the DRC. Full implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework Agreement in eastern DRC and the Great Lakes region must continue. One of its key tracks is expansion of cooperation in the area of security among the states of the region.
We welcome commitment of regional stakeholders to promote cooperation in the interests of normalizing the situation in the Great Lakes region. We note the regular meeting of Heads of Intelligence and Security Services of Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania, and also the summits DRC-Burundi and DRC-Rwanda that took place recently.
As a member of the Group of Friends of the Great Lakes Region, the Russian Federation intends to further promote the peace process in the DRC and the region at large