DR Congo

Security Council votes to expand UN mission in Congo

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The Security Council Thursday unanimously resolved to expand the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) to up to 5,537 military personnel.
It also extended MONUC's mandate to 31 August 2000.

The mission will now include up to 500 observers or more, "provided that the Secretary-General determined that there was a need and that it could be accommodated within the overall force size and structure," according to the Council's resolution. Appropriate civilian support staff in such areas as human rights and child protection would also be added.

Acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which provides for the use of force, the Council decided that MONUC might take the "necessary action" to protect UN and Joint Military Commission (JMC) personnel and protect civilians under "imminent threat of physical violence."

The Council decided that MONUC, as part of its expanded mandate, should develop an action plan within 45 days for the implementation of last year's Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement, which would emphasize the collection of military information on the parties' forces, the maintenance of the cessation of hostilities and the orderly withdrawal of all foreign forces.

The mission, in cooperation with the JMC, would monitor implementation of the ceasefire and investigate any violations.

Expressing its deep concern at all violations and abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law, the Council also condemned "all massacres" carried out in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and urged that an international investigation be carried out to bring those responsible to justice.