The following statement to the press was issued today by Security Council President Gérard Araud (France):
The members of the Security Council were briefed on 30 July by Roger Meece, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Democratic Republic of Congo and head of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), on the situation in the eastern part of the country and specifically on the attacks perpetrated by the mutineers of the 23 March Movement (M23), including the imminent threat to the city of Goma.
The members of the Security Council reiterate their strong condemnation of "M23" and its attacks, and reiterate their demands that "M23" cease immediately all destabilizing activities, including any advances towards the city of Goma. The members of the Security Council urge "M23" and all armed groups to cease all forms of violence, including acts of sexual violence and the recruitment and use of children. They call on the relevant institutions to ensure that all human rights violations are investigated and that perpetrators are held accountable for their crimes. United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay recently named five commanders linked to past atrocities who present the gravest risk to civilians: International Criminal Court indictee Bosco Ntaganda, Sultani Makenga, Baudouin Ngaruye, Innocent Zimurinda and Innocent Kaina.
The members of the Security Council express deep concern at the worsening humanitarian situation in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, especially the increasing number of displaced persons and refugees, and call on the international community to provide appropriate humanitarian support. They also express concern at the possible negative impact of the prevailing situation on the security and humanitarian situation in the South Kivu province of the country.
The members of the Security Council welcome the recent discussion between President [Paul] Kagame and President [Joseph] Kabila to resolve the crisis, including through the International Conference for the Great Lakes Region. They encourage the continuation of high-level dialogue at the bilateral and regional level and a full implementation of the existing regional mechanisms for addressing insecurity in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and finding a durable political solution. In this regard, they note the planned Great Lakes summit in Kampala on 7 August.
The members of the Security Council reiterate their strong condemnation of any and all outside support to "M23" and demand that all support to the Movement, including from outside countries, cease immediately. They further call upon all countries in the region to cooperate actively with the Congolese authorities in dismantling and demobilizing "M23".
The members of the Security Council reiterate their full support for MONUSCO and its operations in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and especially the region of Goma, including its efforts to assist the Congolese Government in protecting civilians displaced or threatened as a result of the violent activities of armed groups. They call on all parties to cooperate fully with the Mission and strongly condemn any attacks on its peacekeepers. They recall that the Congolese Government bears the primary responsibility for the protection of civilians.