Press Releases

                                                                                                                            1 April 2004

    Statement by Security Council President on Democratic Republic of Congo

    NEW YORK, 31 March (UN Headquarters) -- Following is today’s press statement by Security Council President Jean-Marc de La Sablière (France) on the Democratic Republic of the Congo:

    The members of the Security Council heard this morning a briefing by the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping, on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  Aware of the difficulties that need to be overcome in order to carry through the peace and national reconciliation process, they reaffirmed their full support for the efforts undertaken by the Government of the National Unity and Transition.  They also underlined their support for the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and the personnel of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), particularly in light of the killing of a UN peacekeeper in Bukavu on 29 March.

    The Council expressed its concern over the serious incidents in Kinshasa on 28 March, and called on all parties to ensure the transition was not jeopardized.  They hope that all will be made clear about this serious incident in a swift and transparent manner.  They observed with appreciation the cohesion displayed by the President of the Republic and the four Vice-Presidents, and the swiftness of the Government of National Unity and Transition's response.

    The members of the Council called upon the Congolese leaders to make every effort possible in order to proceed with the full implementation of the Global and All-Inclusive Agreement on the Transition.  They appealed to them, in particular, to take the steps necessary for the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of combatants, reform of the security sector, the full re-establishment of the State authority and the successful organization of elections.

    They recalled the importance the Security Council attaches to the respect of the unity and sovereignty of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  They remain in this regard particularly attentive to continuing violence and human rights abuses, particularly in the eastern part of the country.  They firmly condemned ongoing incidents and reminded the parties that there will be no impunity.

    Members of the Council stressed the importance of pursuing all the efforts aimed at expediting the convening of the international conference on the Great Lakes and Central Africa region.  They encouraged the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its neighbours, particularly to the East, to continue to improve their bilateral relations and cooperation.

    They further urged all parties and States in the region to respect the arms embargo and to refrain from any support to armed militias in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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