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530 words - July 25, 2013 | © DiploNews, all rights reserved.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been the topic of multiple United Nations Security Council (UNSC)'s meetings this month: On July 11, Under-Secretary-General of Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous introduced the latest UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) report; on July 19, the Group of Experts (GoE) sent its interim report to the DRC Sanctions Committee; and on July 22, Azerbaijani Ambassador Agshin Mehdiyev and Chair of this Committee presented his conclusions to the UNSC.
The upsurge in violence in the DRC and the Great Lakes region between the UN/Congolese troops and several armed groups including the March 23 Movement (M23), the Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda (FDLR), the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF-NALU) and the Mayi Mayi Kata-Katanga prompted a UNSC ministerial on July 25 whose presidential statement reiterated the international community's support for the implementation of the commitments under the Peace, Security and Cooperation (PSC) Framework agreed on February 24.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (see his remarks and report), the President of the World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim, and Mr. Ban's Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region, Mary Robinson, briefed the UNSC on their trip to the DRC, Rwanda and Uganda on May 22-24. The UNSC welcomed the announcement made by the World Bank of USD 1 bn in planned funding for development projects in the Great Lakes region and commended "the personal diplomatic engagement" of SG Ban and reaffirmed its strong support to Mrs Robinson who was encouraged "to lead, coordinate and assess" the implementation of national and regional commitments under the PSC Framework in view of the next meeting of the "11+4" Regional Oversight Mechanism scheduled for September.
The meeting took place amid growing fears voiced by humanitarian organizations about a possible UN-led military offensive which could make the humanitarian situation worse. The diplomats focused on Resolution 2098 and the further implementation of the decision to create a 3,000-strong intervention brigade as part of the MONUSCO. Also, the regional oversight mechanism of the PSC Framework held its first meeting in Addis Ababa on May 26 and welcomed the establishment of a technical support committee to define regional benchmark, several days after the M23 carried out attacks in the Mutaho area, in the vicinity of Goma.
Additional attacks targeted the Congolese army on July 11 in Kamango and the MONUSCO on July 14 along the Muba-Kamango axis at the initiative of the ADF-NALU, which resulted in several casualties and prompted over 60,000 refugees to flee to neighboring Uganda. Besides, the UNSC took note that hundreds of M23 combatants, including individuals listed by the UN sanctions regime concerning the DRC, fled from the DRC into Rwanda on March 18, however appreciating the initial steps swiftly taken by the government of Rwanda to handle this situation.
Once again, the UNSC demanded that all the armed groups cease immediately all forms of violence and fully disband and disarm. According to French Minister delegate for development Pascal Canfin, "these attacks severely compromised regional and international efforts to find a lasting solution to the crisis in the Great Lakes region," that's why France and other countries have urged the "swift implementation" of the MONUSCO intervention brigade.
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