6 October 2005

Secretary-General Strongly Condemns Incursion by Armed Elements into Democratic Republic of Congo

NEW YORK, 5 October (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General strongly condemns the recent incursion by armed elements of the Lord's Resistance Army into the Democratic Republic of the Congo and supports the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo's commitment to disarm the group, with the assistance of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC).

The Secretary-General welcomes in this regard the strong presidential statement issued by the Security Council on 4 October 2005.  In this context, he wishes to remind Governments that any recourse to the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of the Democratic Republic of the Congo contravenes the United Nations Charter, as well as mutual commitments made recently between States in the Great Lakes region.  Furthermore, inflammatory statements detrimental to the conduct of United Nations operations do not serve the cause of peace and could result in putting the lives of United Nations personnel in danger.

The Secretary-General strongly encourages all Governments of the region to use established mechanisms, including the Tripartite Commission, to resolve the situation through concerted action amongst Member States and welcomes assistance by international partners towards that end.  He also calls on the countries in the region to undertake strengthened and determined efforts to bring an end to the activities of all illegal armed groups that are inflicting such immense suffering on the people in the Great Lakes region.

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