23 August 2006

Security Council Press Statement on Democratic Republic of Congo

NEW YORK, 22 August (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement to the press was made today by Security Council President Nana Effah-Apenteng (Ghana):

The members of the Security Council took note of the official announcement, on 20 August 2006, of the provisional results of the first round of the presidential election in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

They reiterated their appreciation to the Independent Electoral Commission for its remarkable work that enabled the holding of that poll in the best possible conditions, and commended the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo for their commitment to the democratic process, as demonstrated by the high voter turnout.  They appealed to the political leaders to respect the electoral calendar as established by the Independent Electoral Commission.

They expressed their serious concern about the violent clashes between armed elements that have taken place in Kinshasa on 20 and 21 August 2006, and that continue today, and about the looting that has occurred.  They demanded that the Congolese political leadership exercise restraint and immediately implement the ceasefire agreed between their forces and henceforth refrain from any threats or use of force or intimidation against political opponents or their supporters.  They emphasized that there can be no military solution to political issues in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and urged all parties to take immediate steps to support the democratic process that is under way.  They called on the Congolese leadership not to allow the progress made by the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to be jeopardized at this stage and, to this end, expressed the hope that the proposed meeting between President Joseph Kabila and Vice-President Jean-Pierre Bemba would be held as soon as possible to defuse the current political tension.

They expressed appreciation for the effective operation of EUFOR R.D.Congo in support of the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC).  They renewed their support for the International Committee in Support of the Transition (CIAT) and for MONUC and condemned any action threatening their security.

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