27 June 2003


NEW YORK, 26 June (UN Headquarters) -- Following is today’s press statement on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo by Security Council President Sergey Lavrov (Russian Federation):

Members of the Security Council heard a briefing from the Secretariat on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and expressed their deep concern over the latest developments in the eastern part of the country and particularly in the Kivus.

Members of the Council stressed that political gains could not be achieved by military means, and called upon all the parties to commit fully to the political process and to renounce completely and decisively the military path.

They strongly condemned the recent escalation of fighting in the region, in particular the offensives by the RCD/GOMA, which constitutes a serious violation of the cease-fire and poses a threat to the political process in the DRC.  They called upon all the parties in the area for an immediate and unconditional cessation of hostilities and complete withdrawal to the previously agreed positions.  They urged all Congolese parties, including the Government of the DRC, to refrain from any new deployments or other provocative actions.

Members of the Council urged all parties concerned to comply fully with the Lusaka agreement, the Kampala and Harare disengagement plans, the Pretoria and Luanda accords and the Acte d’Engagement for the cessation of hostilities in the eastern and north-eastern DRC signed in Bujumbura on June 19.

Members of the Council urged all the Congolese parties to overcome their differences peacefully and establish a transitional national government without further delay.

Members of the Council urged all governments in the region to exercise a positive influence on the Congolese parties in support of the peace process.

Members of the Council strongly condemned human rights violations and reaffirmed that such acts will not remain unpunished.  They also expressed their deep concern at the deteriorating humanitarian situation and reiterated their call on the parties to provide safe and unimpeded access for international humanitarian assistance.

Members of the Council condemned the recent abduction of two United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) military observers, welcomed their release and demanded that all the parties abide fully by their obligation to provide full and unhindered access to MONUC to allow it to carry out its mandate.

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