DR Congo + 3 more

United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo - Report of the Secretary-General (S/2022/252)

Attachments

I. Introduction

1. The present report, submitted pursuant to paragraph 55 of Security Council resolution 2612 (2021), covers developments in the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 1 December 2021 to 16 March 2022. It provides a description of progress made in the implementation of the mandate of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) since the previous report, of 1 December 2021 (S/2021/987), including towards the realization of the benchmarks and indicators set out by the Government and the United Nations in the transition plan.

II. Political developments

2. Developments related to the electoral process, provincial governance and regional partnerships marked the reporting period.

3. On 13 December, during the annual state of the nation address, the President,
Félix Antoine Tshilombo Tshisekedi, reiterated his commitment to the holding of free, democratic and transparent elections within the constitutional time frame. He also urged the Government to mobilize funds to support the electoral operations of the Independent National Electoral Commission and requested Parliament to adopt outstanding electoral legislation. The most recent draft electoral law was introduced on 3 December by the Majority Deputy of the Union sacrée de la nation, Cerveau Pitshou Nsingi Pululu, in which new requirements for candidates for elected positions, including that both parents have Congolese nationality, were proposed. On 23 December, the National Assembly endorsed nominees from dissident members of the opposition Front commun pour le Congo to fill the remaining vacant Commission seats, namely the Second Vice-President, the Quaestor and a plenary member. In a letter dated 15 December, the President of the Commission, Denis Kadima, requested the United Nations to deploy a needs assessment mission to assess modalities of possible electoral assistance.

4. On 6 and 11 January, respectively, the President of the Independent National Electoral Commission appointed Thotho Mabiku as the Commission’s National Executive Secretary and Marie-Josée Kapinga as his Deputy, the first woman appointed to that position. Several members of the opposition, including Lamuka, assessed the appointees as close to the current Government and called for actions to depoliticize the Commission. On 3 February, Mr. Kadima presented an electoral road map for the period 2021–2027, which included the presidential, parliamentary and local elections in the first phase, indirect elections of Senators, Governors and other local positions in the second phase and a final phase to consolidate the sustainability of electoral processes. He identified factors that could delay the electoral process, including the simultaneous implementation of the general census, population identification and voter registration. Mr. Kadima called upon the Government to swiftly release funds to support electoral operations. On 4 February, the Council of Ministers, chaired by Mr. Tshisekedi, approved three draft decrees concerning the simultaneous organization of the identification and registration of voters, the general population census, the creation of a national identity card and a general population database. The Mission continued to engage with political actors to promote consensus regarding electoral reform and to encourage stakeholders to create a political environment conducive to a credible, inclusive and peaceful electoral process.

5. On 29 January, Jean-Marc Kabund-a-Kabund was dismissed as interim President of the Union pour la démocratie et le progrès social, which confirmed tensions within the party. On 5 February, the Special Adviser to the President on Security, François Beya, was arrested by the Agence nationale de renseignements over alleged participation in activities affecting national security. He was replaced by his Principal Assistant, Jean-Claude Bukasa.

6. On 24 December, the National Assembly and the Senate closed their September ordinary session. The 2022 finance bill, adopted during the session, is estimated at $11 billion. Priorities of the new budget include defence, education, health, infrastructure and agriculture. On 17 and 18 December, respectively, the National Assembly and the Senate adopted a law enabling the Government to issue ordinance laws to extend the state of siege in Ituri and North Kivu for 15-day periods during the parliamentary recess.

7. On 22 and 23 December, Mr. Tshisekedi presided over the eighth session of the conference of provincial Governors. He highlighted the political instability following the dismissal of 12 Governors, two Vice-Governors and the Presidents of some provincial assemblies owing to no-confidence votes in the respective provincial assemblies. The Governors underlined their governance challenges, including interventions from national political actors in provincial affairs and the sporadic retrocession of revenues and payment of operating costs to the provinces. The outcome document of the conference included a two-year moratorium on the application of no-confidence motions by provincial assemblies and a vow to initiate reforms to guarantee the stability of provincial institutions. On 31 December, Mr. Tshisekedi signed the local development programme, covering all 145 territories, with a budget of $1.66 billion.

8. Following the launching of military operations by the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) and the Uganda People’s Defence Forces against the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) on 30 November, both countries signed a memorandum of understanding in Bunia on 8 December to specify the terms of their partnership. On 13 December, in Kigali, the Congolese National Police and the Rwandan National Police signed a memorandum of understanding to formalize cross-border cooperation on fighting transnational crime and stabilizing the region. While some parliamentarians expressed support for operations undertaken with Uganda, some opposition and majority political actors voiced concern over the agreements with Rwanda and Uganda, noting the lack of a political and legal framework and a potential threat to the sovereignty and unity of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

9. On 19 January, in Brazzaville, Mr. Tshisekedi attended the twentieth ordinary session of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and assumed the ECCAS chairpersonship. On 5 February, Mr. Tshisekedi delivered his closing address as outgoing Chairperson of the African Union at the thirty-fifth ordinary session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union. Highlighting achievements during his tenure, he recalled the progress made in implementing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, initiatives to promote the economic empowerment of women and young people and efforts to address the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

10. The signatory countries and guarantor institutions of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Region convened in Kinshasa on 24 February for the tenth High-Level Meeting of the Regional Oversight Mechanism of the Framework, chaired by Mr. Tshisekedi and at which the Secretary-General was represented by the Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations. In the final communiqué, the Heads of State and Government reaffirmed their commitment to the Framework; vowed to continue to engage in dialogue and diplomacy to resolve tensions; pledged their support for the efforts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in fighting negative forces, including through enhanced coordination and collaboration; and committed themselves to promoting regional integration as well as the full, equal and meaningful role of women, young people and civil society in political processes, among other issues.