DRC : a fully inclusive political agreement must be reached
DRC - Statement by Mrs Mme Anne Gueguen, Poltical Adviser of France to the United Nations - Security Council - 5 December 2016
I will be brief. The Council has been clear and unanimous in presidential statement S/PRST/2016/18, which was read at the start of today’s meeting. I will make three points.
First, the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo remains of concern. The country is at a critical juncture in terms of its political and security environment, and a fully inclusive political agreement has not yet been reached in spite of the messages conveyed during the visit of the Security Council and the mediation efforts of the Conférence épiscopale nationale du Congo, which we support and believe must continue. The temptation to be swept into a power struggle is present on all sides, but that game is a dangerous one. If the downward spiral of violence begins, no one will be able to predict how it might be stopped. It must be prevented at all costs.
Secondly, the Council must steadfastly pursue the preventive diplomacy efforts that it has undertaken since its visit to the country. We have been unanimous in reiterating the expectations of the Council with regard to Congolese political leaders by encouraging a full-fledged, consensus-based dialogue to peaceably settle ongoing disputes and by urging the Government to implement the confidence-building measures necessary to bring about a swift conclusion to the dialogue, such as the release of political prisoners, the end to judicial proceedings and the removal of obstacles to freedom of the press. The onus is on Congolese political stakeholders to take the steps necessary to maintain stability and hold elections as quickly as possible, in line with the provisions of the Constitution. To date, that has not occurred. We must therefore steer them in that direction.
Thirdly, that is indeed the goal of the presidential statement that we just adopted. France thanks all members of the Council for the constructive work that has allowed the text to be adopted by consensus. The presidential statement is a clear expression of the Council’s expectations on confidence-building measures and the need for flexibility in a spirit of compromise. A political agreement that is more in-depth and inclusive must be swiftly reached. It is key to preventing a major political crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that could destabilize the entire region.