Great Lakes: Letter dated 8 Nov 2004 from the President of the Security Council addressed to the Secretary-General (S/2004/891)
I have the honour to inform you that the members of the Security Council have decided to send a mission to Central Africa from 20 to 25 November 2004, which will be led by Ambassador Jean-Marc de La Sablière. The members of the Council have agreed on the terms of reference of the mission (see annex).
Following consultations with the members, it has been agreed that the composition of the mission is as follows:
Ambassador Jean-Marc de La Sablière (France),
Head of mission
Ambassador Mourad Benmehidi (Algeria)
Ambassador Ismael Gaspar Martins (Angola)
Ambassador Joël W. Adechi (Benin)
Ms. Irene Vida Gala (Brazil)
Mr. Andrés Landerretche (Chile)
Ambassador Zhang Yishan (China)
Ambassador Gunter Pleuger (Germany)
Ambassador Munir Akram (Pakistan)
Mr. Patrick Chuasoto (Philippines)
Ambassador Gheorghe Dumitru (Romania)
Ambassador Andrey Denisov (Russian Federation)
Ms. Ana Jiménez (Spain)
Ambassador Adam Thomson (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)
Ambassador Sichan Siv (United States of America)
I should be grateful if you could have this letter and its annex circulated as a document of the Security Council.
(Signed) John C. Danforth
President of the Security Council
Security Council mission to Central Africa, 20-26 November 2004
In general terms, the mission will stress the need to continue the peace and transitional processes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi and to bring them to a successful conclusion in 2005.
It will stress the substantial resources committed by the United Nations to peacekeeping in the two countries in the context of a considerable increase in requirements in that area throughout the world. It will recall that durable peace and stability in Central Africa and in the Great Lakes region cannot be achieved without clear and unequivocal efforts and commitment of national and regional stakeholders.
The mission will stress the common position of the Security Council. It will recall the Council's attachment to respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of all the States of the region.
It will stress the importance of achieving a sustainable peace, security and stability for all countries in the region, in the spirit of African solidarity and national reconciliation, in particular through peaceful dialogue and consultations, the full normalization of their relations, and the establishment of confidence-building measures and mechanisms.
It will call on Governments of the region to give priority, in their bilateral and regional relations, to cooperation in the areas of security (joint monitoring of borders, combating the illegal traffic in arms) and economic development.
It will stress in this regard the contribution of the international conference on peace, security, democracy and development in the Great Lakes region of Africa, of which the first summit of Heads of State is to be held on 19 and 20 November in Dar es Salaam. It will reaffirm the importance attached by the Council to the principles of ownership of the conference by the Governments concerned and partnership between them and the community of donors.
The mission will recall that the Council is concerned at the violations of the arms embargo imposed on armed groups in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and at the continuing illegal exploitation of natural resources in that country.
It will also recall that the Council condemned violations of international humanitarian law and human rights committed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi. It will call on the parties and Governments concerned to ensure that those responsible are brought to justice and that human rights and international humanitarian law are respected.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Express the Council's acknowledgement of the transitional authorities' achievements since June 2003: appointment of provincial governors; establishment of the national machineries for supervising the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process; improvement of macroeconomic indicators.
Stress the Council's concern at the extent of the work that remains to be done and, in that regard:
- recall the central role of the "road
map" adopted by the Congolese authorities. It is on the basis of the timely
implementation of that document, the objectives of which match those defined
at the meeting of 29 September 2004 in New York, that the Council will
assess progress in the transition process.
- stress the subjects on which transition stakeholders should focus priority attention: reform of the security sector; adoption of legislation required for the electoral process; launching of the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process. These are absolutely essential requirements for the elections of June 2005.
Affirm the Council's attachment to dialogue between the International Committee in Support of the Transition and the transitional authorities, in particular the Espace présidentiel, in order to overcome any obstacles that may arise in the implementation of key reforms of the Transition. Recall the importance of pursuing such dialogue through sectoral discussions with international partners within the framework of joint commissions, as provided for by Council resolution 1565 (2004).
Stress the effort made by the Council in authorizing the increase in the strength of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) in order to contribute to:
- the stabilization of the Democratic
Republic of the Congo and of its regional environment.
- moving the reform and transitional processes forward.
Encourage the Transitional Government to accelerate, in close contact with MONUC, Governments concerned and the community of donors, the implementation of programmes for the voluntary demobilization and repatriation of disarmed foreign combatants and their dependants, as well as for the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of Congolese combatants and their dependants.
Stress how important it is for the Democratic Republic of the Congo to become fully involved in the different regional mechanisms for dialogue: Joint (border) Verification Mechanism; tripartite dialogue with Rwanda and Uganda; Great Lakes conference.
Recall the Council's readiness to support the efforts of the transitional authorities in combating impunity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the need for them to allow investigators to quickly begin their work.
Ask for information on government control over the exploitation of natural resources throughout the country, as well as on efforts to promote transparency over the revenue of those resources.
Recall that the transition process in Burundi presents itself as exemplary in two ways:
- its principle of dialogue and power-sharing.
- any knock-on effects that its success or failure may have on neighbouring countries.
Recall that there is no alternative to the holding of elections provided for by the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Burundi signed on 28 August 2000.
Support the Transitional Government's decision to adopt a constitution for the post- Arusha period. Stress the importance of that constitution, which endorses the provisions of the agreement signed in Pretoria on 6 August 2004 by providing sufficient guarantees for all parties to participate in elections.
Encourage the Burundian parties to continue progressing through dialogue and in a spirit of compromise, in particular during the campaign to explain the new constitution and during the drawing up of electoral legislation, in order to achieve a global political solution.
Recall that the Security Council vigorously condemned the massacre of Congolese refugees in Gatumba on 13 August 2004 and that it will continue to support the Burundians in their fight against impunity.
Affirm that the Council will not tolerate Mr. Agathon Rwasa's Palipehutu-FNL strategy of violence. Call on him to immediately put an end to that strategy. Stress that the door should remain open for every one to rally to the peace process under the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement.
Insist on the need to rapidly remove obstacles preventing the start of the demobilization and reintegration process (status of combatants, harmonization of grades).
Recall that the Security Council firmly condemned the capture of Bukavu on 2 June 2004 by rebel forces formerly belonging to the Rassemblement congolais pour la démocratie (RCD-Goma) and strongly urged Rwanda not to provide any material or political support to armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Exhort the Government of Rwanda to use its influence to encourage the Congolese actors with which it has special ties, in particular RCD-Goma, to support the transitional process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Emphasize the common position of the Council concerning the situation in the Great Lakes region (statements following the events in Bukavu, renewal of the arms embargo, strengthening of MONUC).
Stress that the Council shares the legitimate concern of Rwanda with regard to the presence of remnants of former FAR combatants and Interahamwe in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which constitute a threat to its territorial integrity and a destabilizing factor in the Great Lakes region.
Emphasize the international community's determination to provide itself with the means to deal with armed groups that are active in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo: support for the integration of the Congolese armed forces, reinforcing MONUC, launching of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration for Mayi-Mayi groups.
Stress the need for cooperation on the part of Rwanda for the repatriation and reintegration of its nationals.
Recall the importance of the Joint Verification Mechanism for the stabilization of the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Stress the need for a central role for MONUC for the smooth operation and credibility of that Mechanism.
Stress the Council's desire to see enhanced dialogue between Kigali and Kinshasa under the Verification Mechanism, the tripartite dialogue and the Great Lakes conference.
Recall that the Council considers Uganda an essential partner in efforts to restore lasting peace to the Great Lakes region. Welcome the role of Uganda in the Great Lakes Regional Peace Initiative on Burundi.
Stress the Council's concern at the difficulties in the process of demobilizing armed groups in Ituri. Urge Uganda to ensure that its territory cannot be used to destabilize the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including through the provision of military or political support to such groups.
Emphasize the role that the Government of Uganda can play as a mediator among these groups and the positive influence it can exert on them to support the transitional process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Discuss ways and means to find a solution to the conflict in northern Uganda which has caused a serious humanitarian crisis.