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Rwandan aggression: UN Security Council calls for M23 withdrawal

Kinshasa March 10th, 2023 (CPA)-The UN Security Council has come to put an end to insecurity in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), so that peace can return, the co-chairman of the delegation, Nicholas de Rivière, told the CPA on Thursday as he descended at N’Djili international airport.

« It is important to act, it is important that the armed groups, whoever they are, stop their activities. Let all participate in the political process, let the foreign groups withdraw, let the foreign-backed armed groups also withdraw and let peace finally return to the DRC, » he said.

The Security Council has come to the DRC with a clear message: « to let people know that they are on their side, to help and to look at what the UN and MONUSCO can do before taking stock of regional initiatives on the political level and the humanitarian situation in the east, » he added.

In this regard, he noted that the Security Council’s visit is taking place in a difficult context, because armed groups are active in eastern DRC and causing serious harm to the population: thousands of people are currently suffering, including men, women and children.

 There is an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, including the looting of the DRC’s natural resources, » he lamented.

 In the face of this crisis, the Security Council delegation also came to see how to address the root causes of the conflicts as well as the issues affecting the DRC.

Regarding the non-respect of the ceasefire by the M23 supported by Rwanda, and the condemnation of the latter’s aggression against the DRC, the UN Security Council envoy said that « all these issues will be on the agenda, especially since, on the latter, measures already exist.

The co-chair of the delegation also said that « in the face of the humanitarian crisis in the East, it will be necessary to assess the needs in order to mobilise partnerships to help the civilian populations that are victims of these conflicts.  The delegation, which arrives in the DRC during an election year, also carries a message that wants to encourage political actors to commit to the process of transparent and credible elections, he said.

It is also to support the action of MONUSCO which, according to him, is part of the solution to the difficulties of the Congolese people to find peace.

For his part, the Permanent Representative of Gabon, Michel Xavier Biang, placed particular emphasis on the evaluation of the humanitarian situation on the ground.

The Security Council delegation will meet with Congolese political and military authorities, humanitarian organisations and civil society, before travelling to North Kivu.

« The main objective of this four-day visit, from 9 to 12, is to assess the security situation in the DRC and the implementation of MONUSCO’s mandate, in accordance with Security Council Resolution 2666 (2022), » said a MONUSCO press release received by the CPA the day before.

According to the source, during the Security Council’s stay in the DRC, a visit to Goma is planned in order to assess the security and humanitarian situation in the province of North Kivu, and to evaluate the operational context in which MONUSCO is operating.

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