6006th Meeting (Night)
Also Welcomes Announcement of Ceasefire, Looks to Group's Leader to Ensure Effective Implementation
The Security Council this evening condemned the recent offensive of the Congrès national pour la défense du peuple (CNDP) in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and demanded its immediate end.
Through a statement read out by Zhang Yesui of China, which holds the rotating presidency for the month of October, the Council also welcomed the announcement of a ceasefire by the group's leader, Laurent Nkunda, and looked to him for the ceasefire's effective and lasting implementation.
Expressing grave concern about the dramatic humanitarian implications of the fighting, the Council urged all parties to fully respect their obligations to protect civilians and to ensure humanitarian workers. "Any attack against the civilian population, including at major population centres, is totally unacceptable", it affirmed.
It called on the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) to take robust actions to protect civilians at risk and to deter any attempt to threaten the political process by any armed group.
Expressing concern at reports of heavy weapons fire across the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda, the 15-member body called on the authorities in both countries to take concrete steps to defuse tensions and restore stability in the region, calling also on all Governments in the region to cease all support to armed groups.
In regard to reinforcement of MONUC, the Council said it would expeditiously study the request of the Secretariat for that action in view of developments of the situation on the ground.
The meeting, which began at 8:10 p.m., concluded at 8:17 p.m.
The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2008/40 reads, as follows:
"The Security Council condemns the recent Congrès national pour la défense du peuple (CNDP) offensive in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and demands that it bring its operations to an end. The Council welcomes the announcement by Laurent Nkunda of an immediate ceasefire and looks to Laurent Nkunda to ensure its effective and durable implementation, and the CNDP's re-engagement in the Goma process. The Security Council expresses its grave concern about the dramatic humanitarian consequences of the recent fighting. The Council urges all parties to respect fully their obligations under international law to protect civilians, to ensure access to the population in need, and to guarantee the safety and security of humanitarian personnel. The Council affirms that any attack against the civilian population, including at major population centres, is totally unacceptable.
"The Security Council urges all the signatories to the Goma and Nairobi processes to implement their commitments effectively and in good faith. In this respect, the Security Council calls on the authorities of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda to take concrete steps to defuse tensions and to restore stability in the region. The Council strongly supports the efforts of the Secretary-General to facilitate the dialogue between the leaders of the two countries and encourages him to send a special envoy tasked with this mission as soon as possible.
"The Security Council urges the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to take effective steps to ensure that there is no cooperation between elements of the Forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo (FARDC) and the Forces démocratique de liberation du Rwanda (FDLR). The Council also calls upon the Governments of the region to cease all support to the armed groups in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Security Council expresses its concern at the reports of heavy weapons fire across the Democratic Republic of the Congo-Rwanda border. The Security Council reiterates its determination to continue to monitor closely the implementation of the arms embargo and other measures as set out in its resolution 1807.
"The Security Council expresses its full support for MONUC and condemns all attacks, regardless of their perpetrators, launched against MONUC in the past days. The Council calls on MONUC to continue to implement fully its mandate, in all its aspects, in particular by robust actions to protect civilians at risk and to deter any attempt to threaten the political process by any armed group.
"The Security Council duly notes the reinforcement of the MONUC requested by the Secretariat of the United Nations. The Security Council will study expeditiously that request in view of the developments of the situation on the ground."
For information media - not an official record