21 June 2017 - DRC: Firm condemnation of violences in the Kasaïs [fr]
Adoption resolution sanctions DRC - Explanation of vote by Mr François Delattre (pre-adoption), Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
Security Council - 21 June 2017
On 12 March, Michael Sharp and Zaida Catalán, two members of the Group of xperts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo went missing. Their bodies were found a few days later. It was clear that they had been murdered.
The Security Council condemned their deaths in the strongest of terms and called for an in-depth investigation to find the perpetrators of the crime and bring them to justice. Today I reiterate that condemnation in the strongest of terms, as well as that call. To that end, France also advocates the establishment of a special board of inquiry.
Michael Sharp and Zaida Catalán carried out work that was extremely important to the Security Council and were very professional in their duties. The experts on United Nations sanctions committees are extremely important to the Council and are the key to the sanctions regimes. I would like thank them again for their service to the Security Council. Justice must be served; we owe it to them and to their families.
They died while conducting an investigation on the tragic situation in the Kasais. We have received very worrisome reports on attacks on civilians and on many gross human rights violations, including the mutilation and murder of children. In recent months, the Council has condemned the violence in the region and expressed its deep concern about such human rights violations. It has underscored the importance and the urgency of carrying out diligent and transparent investigations on violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law so as to ensure that those responsible are brought to justice. That is required now more than ever.
The tragic events have seriously disrupted the work of the Group of Experts. That is why France proposed the adoption of a draft resolution to allow the Group of Experts to resume their work as soon as possible and in calmer conditions.
It is in essence a technical renewal but, given the circumstances, France has proposed the following changes. We hope that all the members of the
Council will agree with this approach.
Through the draft resolution, the Council would reiterate its condemnation
of the murders of Michael Sharp and Zaida Catalán and recall the need for a thorough and swift investigation to determine those responsible and bring them to justice. It would call on the Democratic Republic of the Congo to cooperate with the investigations that might be conducted by the United Nations, Sweden or the United States in an effort to shed light on the events. The draft resolution would also introduce a new criterion for imposing sanctions, which would target
any individual who attacks a member of the Group of Experts or who is involved in such an act.
The Council would also reiterate its condemnation of the violence in Kasais and its call for transparent investigations to be urgently undertaken to identify the perpetrators of human rights violations in that region.
Finally, given the constraints faced by the experts, this draft resolution would provide the Group of Experts with an additional two months in which to complete its final report. It also envisages that the Council would review the sanctions regime and make any necessary amendments once the report has been completed.