24 July 2002
Security Council Demands That Rebel Group in Democratic Republic of Congo Bring Perpetrators of Kisangani Massacres to Justice
In Presidential Statement, Members Call for Immediate Demilitarization of Kisangani By RCD-Goma
NEW YORK, 23 July (UN Headquarters) -- The Security Council today demanded that the Rassemble- ment Congolais pour la Démocratie (RCD-Goma) bring the perpetrators of the May massacres in Kisangani in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to justice.
In a statement read out by its President, Jeremy Greenstock (United Kingdom), the Council stressed that RCD-Goma must demilitarize Kisangani without further delay, which would prevent any recurrence of those tragic events. It must also cooperate with the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in efforts to identify all the victims and perpetrators in Kisangani.
The Council repeated its strong condemnation of the killings and attacks against civilians, soldiers and police officers that took place in Kisangani on 14 May 2002. It stressed that RCD-Goma was held responsible for the massacre, which took place after it regained control of the city's radio station.
The Council also stressed that RCD-Goma would be held accountable for any extrajudicial executions, including those directed at members of civil society or detainees at RCD detention centres in Kisangani. It emphasized that Rwanda had a duty to use its strong influence in ensuring that RCD-Goma took no such action.
Further to the text, the Council expressed deep concern at the strengthening of troops in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, particularly in the Hauts Plateaux and around Minembwe in South Kivu. Noting that fighting had increased there between the Rwandan Patriotic Army and Banyamulenge, which was severely affecting the area's population, the Council called for that fighting to stop.
The Council also expressed concern at rising tensions in the Ituri region, as well as military actions in Pweto, and urged all parties to exert restraint.
The Council expressed further concern at the absence of accountability throughout the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and called on all parties to ensure an end to impunity and full respect for human rights.
By other terms, the Council encouraged leaders of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda to continue working on their security concerns, and welcomed discussions between the two countries on a curtain of troops to ensure the security of common borders in the region. It requested MONUC and the Joint Military Commission to assist the parties in developing that mechanism.
Presidential statement S/PRST/2002/22 reads, as follows:
"The Security Council recalls the seriousness of the events that took place in Kisangani on 14 May 2002 and immediately thereafter, and expresses its appreciation for the report and recommendations presented to the Council by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) (S/2002/764), building on the investigation conducted in association with the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) into the events to which the Council had drawn the attention of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (S/PRST/2002/17). It reiterates its strong condemnation of the killings and attacks against civilians, soldiers and police officers that took place on 14 May 2002 and thereafter in Kisangani. The Security Council stresses that the Rassemblement Congolais pour la Démocratie (RCD-Goma) is responsible for the massacres that took place after regaining control over the city's radio station on 14 May. The Security Council demands that RCD-Goma take the necessary measures to bring the perpetrators and those among them who ordered or were involved in the massacre to justice. The Security Council stresses that Rwanda has a duty to use its strong influence to ensure that RCD-Goma comply with this demand.
"The Security Council stresses that RCD-Goma will be held accountable for any extrajudicial executions, including among members of the civil society or detainees at the detention centers of RCD in Kisangani. It also stresses that Rwanda has a duty to use its strong influence to ensure that RCD-Goma takes no such action. It requests MONUC to continue its investigations in cooperation with the OHCHR in order to gather further information concerning the massacres in Kisangani and to make recommendations on concrete measures to be taken to effectively end impunity. It recalls MONUC's mandate to extend its protection, in accordance with its resolution 1417 (2002) of 6 June 2002, to civilians under imminent threat of physical violence, in the areas of deployment of its armed units and as it deems it within its capabilities.
"The Security Council reiterates that the RCD-Goma must demilitarize Kisangani without any further delay or condition and stresses this would prevent any future recurrence of these recent tragic events. RCD-Goma must also cooperate with MONUC and OHCHR in their investigations to identify all the victims and perpetrators in Kisangani so that the latter will be brought to justice, and also to ensure an end to all violations of human rights and to impunity in all areas under its control.
"The Security Council expresses its serious concern at the absence of accountability throughout the Democratic Republic of the Congo noted in the report of the OHCHR, and calls on all parties to take immediate steps to ensure an end to impunity and full respect for human rights.
"The Security Council also expresses its deep concern at the strengthening of troops in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. It expresses particular concern at the situation in South Kivu, in particular in the Hauts Plateaux and around Minembwe, where fighting has increased between the Rwandan Patriotic Army and Banyamulenge, supported by other armed forces. It calls for the cessation of this fighting, which is having a severe humanitarian impact on the population in the area. It calls on the Government of Rwanda to cooperate with the teams from MONUC and OCHA which are to be sent to the area as soon as possible to establish the facts, including by providing the necessary security guarantees.
"The Security Council also expresses its concern at the rising tensions in the Ituri region and calls on all parties to exert restraint. It also expresses concern at the military actions in Pweto. It requests the Political Committee of the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement to address expeditiously the issue of Pweto, in accordance with the Kampala and Harare plans for disengagement and with the decisions taken by the Joint Military Commission (JMC), and in accordance with its resolution 1399 (2002) of 19 March 2002.
"The Security Council welcomes the efforts and good offices of the Republic of South Africa, in its capacity as chair of the African Union, and of the Secretary-General, to help the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda reach an agreement to tackle the problem of the armed groups and to take forward the withdrawal of Rwandan troops, in the context of the full withdrawal of all foreign troops from the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in accordance with the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement and relevant Security Council resolutions. In this regard, it encourages the leaders of the two countries to work out ways to address their fundamental security concerns, and welcomes the discussions between representatives of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda on the idea of a curtain of troops, as a mechanism for countries of the region to cooperate to ensure the security of their common borders. The Security Council requests MONUC and the JMC to assist the parties in the development of the curtain mechanism.
"The Security Council reiterates the importance it attaches to an all-inclusive agreement on the political transition, taking into account the progress achieved in Sun City, and in this regard expresses its full support for the efforts of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General and calls on all actors in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in the region to cooperate fully with him. The Council welcomes the support of the African Union, in particular through the Special Representative of the Interim Chairman of its Commission, for this process.
"The Security Council reaffirms the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and all other States in the region.
"The Security Council reiterates its full support for the Special Representative of the Secretary General in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and for all MONUC personnel, and demands that RCD-Goma fully cooperate with the Special Representative and MONUC in the implementation of their mandate.
"The Security Council, noting the encouraging political developments both in terms of contacts among the Congolese parties and among regional States, calls on all the parties to recommit themselves to taking forward these political processes and to refrain from any military action that would undermine the progress for peace."
* *** *