The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Linda Thomas-Greenfield (United States):
The members of the Security Council strongly condemned the attack on United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and Forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo (FARDC) positions by the Mouvement du 23 mars (M23) on 22 May 2022 in the area of Shangi, North Kivu.
The members of the Security Council also reiterated their strong condemnation of all attacks and provocations against MONUSCO. They underlined that deliberate attacks targeting peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law. They called on the Congolese authorities to swiftly investigate such attacks and bring the perpetrators to justice, and to keep the relevant troop-contributing country informed of the progress.
The members of the Security Council expressed concern at the increase of armed group activity in the eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They reiterated their condemnation of all armed groups operating in the country, including the M23, the Coopérative pour le développement du Congo (CODECO), the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), the Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda (FDLR) and several other domestic and foreign armed groups. They called on all actors to end violence and their violations and abuse of international human rights and international humanitarian law.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the commitment of the signatories of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework to address the threat posed by all armed groups operating in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. They called on all armed groups operating in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo to participate unconditionally in the political process initiated by the Regional Heads of State Conclave on the Democratic Republic of Congo in Nairobi, Kenya, and on eligible armed groups to lay down their weapons through the Disarmament, Demobilization, Community Recovery and Stabilization Programme (PDDRC-S). They urged the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo and its partners, including international financial institutions, to urgently provide adequate and timely support for swift and effective implementation of the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of eligible former combatants, under coordination of the PDDRC-S.
The members of the Security Council expressed concern at the current humanitarian situation in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, marked by a significant increase in the number of people in need of protection and humanitarian assistance. They called on the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo to address the underlying drivers of the current humanitarian situation and on partners to step up their support to the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in tackling these challenges.
The members of the Security Council stressed the importance of MONUSCO having the necessary capacities to fulfil its mandate and promote, including by taking additional measures as appropriate, the safety and security of the United Nations peacekeepers and its operations, pursuant to relevant Security Council resolutions. They underscored that the primary responsibility of the safety and security of United Nations personnel and assets rests with host States and highlighted the importance of engagements and communications between MONUSCO and the Congolese Government.
The members of the Security Council recognized the efforts of the FARDC, including with the support of MONUSCO, in addressing the threat posed by armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They reiterated their full support for the stabilizing action of MONUSCO and expressed their deep appreciation to MONUSCO’s troop- and police-contributing countries.