A3 JOINT STATEMENT BY AMB. MARTIN KIMANI, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF KENYA TO THE UN
BRIEFING ON THE SITUATION IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO FRIDAY, 30 SEPTEMBER 2022 (10AM)
I have the pleasure to deliver this statement on behalf of the A3, namely, Gabon, Ghana and Kenya.
We thank SRSG Bintou Keita and Prof. Emery Mudinga for their briefing.
We welcome the participation of Ambassador Georges Nzongola- Ntalaja of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
We thank our brother Ambassador Michel Xavier Biang, Chair of the 1533 Committee for his briefing
Our statement will focus on the political, security and humanitarian situations.
On the political front, we welcome the commitment by H.E. President Tshisekedi to enhance trust between the DRC and neighbouring countries, through continued consultation on issues of common interest, including the conclusion of security cooperation and economic partnership agreements for the development and prosperity for the region.
We also welcome the government’s commitment to hold elections in 2023, in accordance with the Constitution. We are particularly
encouraged by the comprehensive approach adopted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) in planning and managing the electoral process. And we welcome the revisions of the Electoral Law to create spaces for dialogue and greater participation of all Congolese in the elections. 8. We further recognise the progress made to promote gender equality and opportunities for women in governance, judicial and administrative institutions as well as in political and peace processes.
Mr. President on the security situation,
We are gravely concerned that armed and terrorist affiliated groups continue to operate with impunity especially in the eastern part of the country, with civilians especially women and children being disproportionately affected.
The A3 strongly condemns these armed group terror activities and reiterate the need for concerted effort to bring an end to them. We demand all armed groups to surrender their arms unconditionally; engage with the government under the Inter-Congolese Peace Dialogue process; and, embrace the National Demobilization, Disarmament, Community Recovery and Stabilization Program (P- DDRCS).
Another issue of concern to the A3 is the strained relations between MONUSCO and the local populations. It is unfortunate that MONUSCO forces have faced hostilities from the people who should be looking up to them for protection.
Every effort must be made to rebuild trust and confidence between MONUSCO and the host communities. A beginning point would be for MONUSCO to focus on the many areas highlighted in the Secretary-General’s report. These include the Mission prioritising the protection of civilian; improved troop preparedness through capacity building and training; and investing in base defenses and other force multipliers.
The A3 welcomes the Communiqué adopted by the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) on 31 August 2022 endorsing the Nairobi and Luanda processes for reconciliation, stabilisation and securing lasting peace in Eastern DRC and the region. We urge the UN and the international community enhance their support for these mechanisms and processes in order to sustain these peace and security efforts.
To improve the effectiveness of all the forces deployed on Congolese territory, it is essential to set up a joint coordination mechanism under the aegis of the DRC.
On the progress of priority benchmarks for the effective withdrawal and exit of MONUSCO, the A3 recalls that an effective transition of the Mission should include benchmarks that ensure the successful transfer of key security related tasks to the Government of DRC.
We note with concern that some priority benchmarks outlined do not provide for the successful and sustainable drawdown and exit of the Mission. We support the call by the Government of DRC to MONUSCO to review the joint transition plan and ensure that the benchmarks encompass, among others, strengthening key defense and security institutions as well as early warning initiatives and preventive interventions that mitigate relapse into conflict.
Mr. President on the humanitarian situation,
The A3 is deeply concerned by the humanitarian crisis in Eastern DRC where an estimated 27 million people are in need of assistance or protection.
We commend the outstanding work of humanitarian organizations in providing continuous support to the people of DRC amid difficult circumstances. It is important, going forward, to systematically shift from short-term to long-term resilience-based humanitarian assistance. These would entail reconstruction of civilian infrastructure; restoration of essential services; and empowering the host communities through the provision of farm inputs for improved food security and equipment and technology in support of local entrepreneurships that sustain livelihoods.
The world is staring at a climate-change induced energy crisis. But Africa remains rich in sustainable renewable energy sources and raw materials, a substantial part of it being in the DRC.
In his statement at the 77th session of the General Assembly, President Tshisekedi expressed DRCs commitment to manage its rich biodiversity to contribute to save humanity from climate change. We encourage the countries in the region to cooperate and pursue a common approach in the protection and sustainable exploitation of their biodiversity for their social and economic development.
Strengthening regional economic integration is a critical component of mobilising resources to promote peace, stability and economic development.
In conclusion, Mr. President, The A3 commends the efforts of MONUSCO in promoting peace and security in the DRC.
We reiterate our solidarity with the Government and the people of DRC and reaffirm our respect for the territorial integrity, sovereignty, and political independence of the DRC.
I thank you for your attention.