Since the submission of the most recent report of the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (S/2018/531), the overall security situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has remained volatile. During the period under review, the Group noted major security incidents including attacks against civilians, security forces and United Nations peacekeepers in many province s. While the upcoming elections have continued to raise security concerns, the Group has not found evidence of direct involvement by armed actors in the electoral process.
In the present report, the Group chose to organize its findings with a focus on four territories in the North and South Kivu Provinces, where it documented findings relevant to its mandate.
The Group uncovered a well-established international network dedicated to the recruitment of combatants sent to Beni territory. Although it was not able to confirm that combatants were recruited for the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), the Group found similarities to previously documented recruitment patterns for ADF. Attacks, which were often deadly and targeted the civilian population, the Forces a rmées de la république démocratique du Congo (FARDC) and/or United Nations peacekeepers, occurred on an almost daily basis in various locations in the entire north-eastern part of the territory, including in Beni city.
The Group found that an armed group active in Fizi and Uvira territories and associated with Rwandan opposition groups benefited from local and external support for the recruitment of its combatants. The Group confirmed that most of the arms and ammunition used by the armed group were transferred from Burundi, but it could not confirm the identities of the individuals and entities involved.
The Group documented a split in the Alliance des patriotes pour un Congo libre et souverain (APCLS), a dominant armed group in Masisi territory, into two factions: APCLS and APCLS-Rénové. The latter controls the tin, tantalum and tungsten mining sites and is responsible for violations of international humanitarian law. The Group also found some forms of collaboration between that faction and some elements of FARDC. The smuggling of tin, tantalum and tungsten continue to occur in Masisi territory.
The Group concluded that Masudi Alimasi Kokodikoko, leader of a Raia Mutomboki faction in Shabunda territory, was a lead perpetrator of the gang rapes of at least 17 women in September 2018. The Group documented that his group, as well as other Raia Mutomboki factions, profit from the exploitation and trade of natural resources. FARDC elements were the main armed actors involved in mining tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold in Shabunda territory. Tin, tantalum and tungsten sourced from areas controlled by armed actors were introduced into the formal supply chain with the authorization of authorities of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Group found that Uganda remained an important transit hub for gold illegally sourced from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including from Shabunda territory.
Several Member States failed to notify the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1533 (2004) concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo regarding deliveries of arms and materiel to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.