DRC: The agreement is the only credible road map [fr]
DRC/MONUSCO - Security Council - Speech by M. François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - New York, 11 July 2017
I wish at the outset to thank Mr. Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, for his very enlightening briefing and for the tireless commitment of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) to the Congolese people.This meeting is being held at a critical moment, six months after the signing of the political agreement of 31 December 2016 and three months after the adoption of an innovative mandate for MONUSCO. It allows us to review developments in the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and to reaffirm our shared priorities. I should like to lay out France’s assessment of three aspects: the growing political backlog; the worrisome deterioration of the security situation and human rights, in particular in the Kasais; and the welcome responsiveness of MONUSCO in implementing the mandate set forth in resolution 2348 (2017).
First, as to the growing delays in the implementation of the 31 December agreement is of concern to France as the deadline for holding elections approaches.
The agreement is the only credible road map for the end of the crisis. That is why the lack of consensus and the systematic blockages in its implementation are very worrying. Elections must take place in less than six months, time is running out.
It is therefore urgent that the Government take the steps necessary to reaffirm its commitment to respecting the provisions of the agreement. The organization of elections, the effective establishment of the National Council for Oversight of the Agreement and the implementation of confidence-building measures are priorities.
We welcome the progress made on voter registration. That is a positive step forward and a dynamic that needs to be pursued. We regret, however, the delays in the registration process, in particular in the three provinces of Kasai and Kinshasa. We call on the authorities to take the measures necessary to finalize the registration and the voter register.
I wish to stress that compliance with the deadlines set out in the agreement is essential. France calls on the Congolese authorities to take all the measures necessary to organize the elections as soon as possible and recalls the need for an urgent publication of an electoral timetable in accordance with the provisions of the 31 December agreement.
These advances are all the more urgent as the current impass is already leading to an increase in areas of instability in the country.
Secondly, the unprecedented intensification of violence in the west is particularly alarming and requires our full attention.
Violence in the Kasais has reached an unsustainable level. The clashes between the Forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo and Kamwina Nsapu militia are taking a heavy toll on the populations, as evidenced by the continued increase in the number of displaced persons and refugees.
We are also very concerned about the rapid spread of insecurity to Tanganyika and the increasing intercommunity conflicts in these regions. In that regard, I join the Secretary-General in condemning the attacks in the strongest possible terms and in calling on the belligerents to lay down their arms in order to put an end to this climate of insecurity and its disastrous humanitarian consequences. The escape of detainees, which is increasing in unusual proportions, also adds to growing insecurity.
A key aspect of the resolution of this crisis will be the response of the Congolese authorities to the fight against impunity. We call on the Congolese authorities to deploy the means necessary to investigate these violations thoroughly, identify those responsible and take appropriate measures to ensure that they are held accountable, irrespective of their affiliation.
We welcome the adoption by the Human Rights Council on 23 June — by consensus and with the agreement of the Democratic Republic of the Congo — of the resolution authorizing the dispatch of a mission of international experts, in cooperation with the Congolese authorities. We call on the Congolese authorities to cooperate fully with that team of international experts.
Thirdly, we commend the significant efforts made by MONUSCO to adapt to the mandate provided for in resolution 2348 (2017).
MONUSCO responded quickly to the adjustments provided for in that resolution. It must focus on its two priorities: the protection of civilians and support for the implementation of the 31 December agreement. We welcome the rapid translation of this reconfiguration of the Mission on the ground, and encourage it to pursue its efforts in that direction.
In conclusion, France reiterates once again the importance of the consensual implementation of all the provisions of the 31 December agreement, which is the framework agreed by all the Congolese parties for the transition towards the holding of elections.
Failure to comply with one or more of its provisions would entail significant risks for the stability of the entire region, including a deterioration of security, outbreaks of violence, political destabilization and repercussions for the human rights situation and humanitarian and socioeconomic conditions. This scenario is, unfortunately, unfolding before our eyes now, as evidenced by the upsurge of violence in the Kasais, in Tanganyika and in the east of the country. France therefore solemnly calls on all political actors to redouble their efforts to meet the commitments made last December and to organize the elections. There is an urgent need to do so.