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 SESG Xia and Executive Secretary of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region Mr. João Caholo for the briefings. We also listened carefully to Ms. Joséphine Malimukono.

The situation in the Great Lakes Region remains largely dependent on the developments in eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Deteriorating security situation in eastern DRC essentially exacerbates the state of affairs in the region, triggers further degradation at humanitarian track.

Activities of M23 raise particular concern, as well as tension in Kinshasa-Kigali relations. Other illegal paramilitary formations also make use of the escalation to enhance unlawful activities, assault civilians, exploit mineral resources with impunity and strengthen positions in the East of the country. Those militias include the ‘Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda’, CODECO, Zaire, Red Tabara, Mai-Mai units. ‘Allied Democratic Forces’, whose fighters increasingly often resort to terrorist methods and the use of IEDs, has markedly stepped up its activities. We call on illegal armed militias to renounce violent methods, lay down arms and enroll in the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration program without preconditions.

We support the efforts of MONUSCO and its leaders in ensuring peace and protecting civilians. Presence of Blue Helmets in the conflict zone remains a crucial stabilizing factor. We agree with the conclusion of Secretary-General’s special report on MONUSCO that when considering plans for reconfiguration and withdrawal of the Mission, Kinshasa and the UN should take into account the evolution of the situation on the ground, act in a phased and responsible manner, and take on board opinion of host authorities.

We are firmly convinced that security and stability in eastern DRC is something that all states of the GLR are interested in. We attach fundamental importance to the effectiveness of regional efforts through the Nairobi and Luanda negotiation processes and efforts of the Chair of the East African Community. We also note the intention of SADC member states to promote a peaceful settlement in eastern DRC.

It is obvious that long-term normalization in eastern DR Congo and the Great Lakes Region cannot be achieved by military measures. Without direct and open dialogue of the main regional actors and without mutual consideration of security interests, the spiral of violence will only continue to unwind. We call for a comprehensive cessation of hostilities and full implementation of the Luanda Roadmap in order to create conditions for advancing inter-Congolese negotiations and restoring good neighborly relations between the DR Congo and Rwanda.

Also, it is important to boost efforts aimed at comprehensive implementation of the fundamental 2013 Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for Eastern DRC and the Great Lakes Region. We welcome the commitment of the African Union to revitalizing this document.

For our part, we will continue to promote stabilization in the Great Lakes Region by encouraging dialogue and constructive cooperation among all stakeholders. We will also continue to support the activities of SESG Xia aimed at reducing tensions in the region.

Thank you.

Video of the statement