Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris, October 28, 2013)

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – Resumption of clashes in the east

France condemns the resumption of fighting by the M23 in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.  It deplores the loss on Sunday of a Tanzanian blue helmet, killed during a MONUSCO operation to protect the civilian population.  We extend our condolences to the victim’s loved ones and the Tanzanian authorities.  France reiterates its full support for MONUSCO, which is working at the service of peace in particularly difficult circumstances.

France reaffirms its commitment to a lasting political settlement covering all aspects of the crisis in the Great Lakes region, in accordance with the Addis Ababa framework agreement and Security Council Resolutions 2076 and 2098.  In line with those resolutions, France calls on the M23 and all the armed groups holding sway in the DRC to disarm and demobilize, and for the perpetrators of serious human rights violations to be prosecuted.

At France’s initiative, the United Nations Security Council will meet today to discuss the situation in the DRC.  Mr Russ Feingold, the United States Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region, will have a meeting at the Quai d’Orsay today to discuss the issue.

France also calls on all the neighbouring countries to refrain from any support for the armed groups, to back the United Nations’ efforts and avoid anything that could contribute to an escalation, particularly by giving priority to the joint verification mechanism in the event of border incidents.