DRC : security & humanitarian situation remains troubling [fr]
DRC/MONUSCO - Statement by Mr François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations - Security Council - 9 January 2018
A member of MONUSCO is greeted by a child in the town of Pinga, North Kivu Province. @ONU/MONUSCO
I would like to begin by thanking the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations for his illuminating briefing. We fully support the recommendations of the Secretary-General’s report (S/2018/16).
I would like to express, on behalf of France, our firm condemnation of the violence utilized by the security forces during the 31 December protests in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which claimed several victims. France once again calls for respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms, including the freedom of expression and the right to information and peaceful protest, which are essential components of a democracy. We highlight the need for proportional use of force in the context of law enforcement. In that connection, we call on the Congolese authorities to fully investigate the violence in order to hold its perpetrators accountable before the law. The Congolese authorities have already shown that they can be proactive in fighting impunity, as seen recently in the conviction, in South Kivu, of 12 individuals for sexual violence.
Credible, transparent and peaceful elections that ensure a peaceful and democratic transition are necessary for the stability of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the entire region. In that regard, we call for the effective holding of elections, as scheduled in the electoral calendar published on 5 November 2017 and in line the Constitution and the spirit of consensus that prevailed during the signing of the Comprehensive and Inclusive political Agreement on 31 December 2016. We call on the Congolese authorities and Independent National Electoral Commission to take all necessary measures, particularly those that would enable the rapid deployment of a joint team of international experts to support the electoral process in the Congo.
The 31 December 2016 agreement is more important than ever, as it is the latest embodiment of Congolese national consensus. Its full implementation is urgent, as it contains the key measures to ease tension so as to enable credible and peaceful elections. As the Secretary-General points out, no credible electoral process can take place in a context of repression. It is therefore essential that all conditions be put in place so that all candidates can run for office without obstruction. This is all the more important given that security and humanitarian situation remains troubling, as Under-Secretary-General Lacroix noted, and that the blocking of the political process would only exacerbate the instability that threatens the region.
The United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) is carrying out remarkable work in this difficult context, and I commend the Mission’s reconfiguration efforts in order to adapt to the security situation and to the priorities of the mandate. MONUSCO is facing significant challenges, such as the attack in Semuliki. On behalf of France, I once again express our condolences and our solidarity with Tanzania following the tragedy that beset those Blue Helmets. That incident makes it all the more important to reaffirm our support for MONUSCO and its development.
France is encouraged, in that connection, by the clear guidelines set in place, and I warmly commend the exceptional work of Mr. Maman Sedikou. We also extend our full support to his successor, Ms. Leila Zerrougui, with whom we have worked closely in her previous position and who we trust completely.