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Joint A3 Statement on the Situation in DRC (MONUSCO)

STATEMENT BY

CAROLYN OPPONG-NTIRI

DEPUTY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF GHANA TO THE UNITED NATIONS



Mr President,

  1. I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the A3.

  2. First of all, we would like to commend SRSG Bintou Keita for her remarkable work in the DRC, as well as for her comprehensive briefing today which has shed light on the situation in the DRC and the activities of MONUSCO in that regard.

  3. We thank Ms. Sandrine Lusamba for her briefing and welcome the presence of the Permanent Representative of the DRC as well as of the Chargé d’Affaires of Rwanda.

  4. Mr. President, our intervention will focus 3 main areas, namely, the political, security and humanitarian situations.

Mr. President,

  1. On the political front, the A3 notes the launch of the electoral campaign on 19

  2. With 44 million voters, we welcome the Government's commitment to organizing presidential and local elections in a particularly difficult security context. Despite the logistical and security challenges, the effective holding of these elections, is expected by the Congolese population, which aspires to free, transparent, and peaceful elections

  3. We call on all political actors, including the opposition and civil society, to engage constructively in strengthening social cohesion, national unity and dialogue in order to prevent post-electoral tensions. We encourage the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) to take confidence-building measures and maintain dialogue with all political actors so that the results of these elections are accepted by all. In this regard, the support provided by MONUSCO is highly appreciated. We further encourage the Congolese authorities, to spare no efforts in ensuring that good neighborliness and regional stability also remain a priority before, during and after the elections.

8. At the regional level, the A3 reiterates its support for a political resolution of the security crisis affecting the East of the DRC. We reaffirm our support to regional processes which are credible African political solutions to end the crisis.

  1. To this end, it is urgent to implement the priority actions contained in the Nairobi and Luanda agreements, with a view to the cessation of hostilities, the immediate withdrawal of the M23 from occupied areas, the repatriation of all foreign armed groups and foreigners and respect by local armed groups for the Disarmament, Demobilization, Community Recovery and Stabilization Program (PDDRCS).

  2. We welcome the commitment of the African Union to support the stabilization of the Democratic Republic of Congo by ensuring the coordination and harmonization of regional peace initiatives, in particular through the organization of the meeting of the Chiefs of Staff of the Quadripartite, composed of the East African Community (EAC), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), with the participation of the United Nations (UN), on 6 October 2023 in Addis Ababa.

Mr. President,

  1. At this crucial stage of its history, the security situation in eastern DRC remains a source of great concern for the A3. We are particularly dismayed by the deterioration of the security situation in Ituri and Kivu provinces, due to the recurrence of attacks by armed groups.

  2. Despite joint efforts by the DRC and MONUSCO supported by several countries in the region, eastern Congo remains subject to a cycle of violence perpetrated mainly by armed groups such as the M23, Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), the Cooperative for the Development of Congo (CODECO) and the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).

  3. The attacks by the Islamic State- affiliated ADF, a terrorist group which has increasingly resorted to the use of improvised explosive devices, contribute to the worsening of the cycle of terror in which the Congolese populations live.

  4. In addition, the A3 takes note of the signing, on 21 November 2023, of the disengagement plan and timetable between MONUSCO and the DRC as well as the DRC's request to reflect this plan in the resolution on the renewal of MONUSCO's mandate currently under negotiation. It is imperative to ensure the protection of civilians throughout this process. In this regard, and within the context of the implementation of this plan, we encourage the DRC and MONUSCO to continue promoting constructive dialogue so as to ensure a concerted, orderly and responsible withdrawal.

Mr. President,

  1. The increase in violence against civilians by armed groups is exacerbating the humanitarian situation in the DRC. With the highest number of internally displaced people in Africa, the humanitarian crisis in the country is reaching record levels in the absence of adequate funding for the humanitarian response plan.

  2. We urge international donors to mobilize to respond to the immense humanitarian needs.

  3. The A3 acknowledges the remarkable work of humanitarian organizations who, risking their lives, provide continuous support to the people of the DRC.

  4. Moreover, we pay tribute to all the peacekeepers, the Armed Forces of the DRC, and the civilians who have lost their lives while working for peace in this country. We call on MONUSCO and the DRC to take all necessary measures to ensure that the withdrawal of the mission does not affect the activity and security of humanitarian workers.

Mr. President,

19. Finally, the A3 acknowledges the invaluable contribution of MONUSCO to the stabilization of the DRC and we reaffirm our support to Mrs. Bintou Keita and her team. Furthermore, the A3 reiterates its solidarity with the Government and the people of the DRC. We also reaffirm our commitment to respecting the independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).


I thank you.

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