Security Council renews the mandate of MONUSCO [fr]
Renewal of MONUSCO’s mandate
Statement by Mr. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs
Security Council - 29 March 2019
France welcomes the adoption of resolution 2463 (2019), which renews the mandate of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). By unanimously adopting it, the Security Council has again demonstrated its unity on the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
First of all, I would like to highlight the progress made by the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the road to stability and democracy. The December elections, held with the support of MONUSCO, enabled the peaceful transfer of power with the election of Félix Tshilombo Tshisekedi. I would like to pay tribute to all Congolese, as they have been patient in exercising their right to vote and in expressing their desire for change and the transfer of power, even after elections had been postponed for two years. Those elections are an important step. I would like to stress that the United Nations has played an important role in such progress. In 20 years, the United Nations Observer Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and MONUSCO have stood resolutely with the Democratic Republic of Congo. We take note of recent developments and invite the country to go further in the exercise of its sovereignty. Nevertheless, and this is the reason for the mandate renewal, MONUSCO’s action is still essential for meeting existing security challenges, in particular those posed by armed groups in the east of the country. The mandate that has just been adopted marks a transition. The nine-month period will allow the Secretariat time to conduct a strategic review of the Mission, with the objective of gaining a better understanding of issues and needs and adapting the Mission’s mandate accordingly. It will then give the Security Council, as well as the Secretariat, time for discussions with the Congolese authorities. We are all convinced that a country that hosts a peacekeeping operation on its soil must have a voice. In that regard, I welcome President Tshisekedi’s commitment to greater cooperation with the Mission. Lastly, the nine-month period will allow us to reflect on what happens after — a gradual disengagement that goes hand in hand with the effective exercise of the full sovereignty of the State over the entire territory.
Two priorities have been identified for the mandate: the protection of those under greatest threat and support for the stabilization and strengthening of institutions. To implement them, we will rely on the full and exemplary commitment of MONUSCO’s military, police and civilian personnel, who work with the armed and domestic security forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Council strongly encourages MONUSCO to use the mandate to implement the internal reforms it has already initiated. The Mission made initial adjustments, which were necessary. It must become increasingly responsive and mobile, in particular the Intervention Brigade, whose robust mandate helps in effectively combating armed groups
.Considerable challenges remain, of course, but I hope that the mandate will lead to significant progress. It is particularly essential in the east of the country, in terms of combating armed groups, in particular the Allied Democratic Forces. That is a genuine concern that requires enhanced regional cooperation. The issue of security in the east is inseparable from the fight against the Ebola epidemic, since armed groups disrupt humanitarian efforts in a manner that is cause for serious concern. The fight against Ebola is one of the elements of the protection of civilians mission of the new mandate. Above and beyond the situation in the east, we believe that the election of Mr. Tshisekedi provides a window of opportunity to address, through disarmament, demobilization and reintegration processes, the issue of armed groups continuing their abuses in the Kasai region and Ituri, in particular. We will continue to support the Congolese authorities on all of those issues, as we have always done.
Lastly, I would like to point out that respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms ensures peace, stability and confidence. Such criteria are vital to ensuring that the Democratic Republic of Congo will approach its future with a renewed sense of calm. President Tshisekedi’s initial commitments on that issue are very encouraging. I welcome them. I would mention in particular the release of those imprisoned for political reasons and of measures taken to open up the public space.In our view, those are the conditions under which MONUSCO will be able to fulfil its peace mission and the Democratic Republic of the Congo will continue to make progress on the path of sovereignty. Rest assured of France’s commitment in that regard.