Official speeches and statements - October 3, 2022
1. United Nations - Democratic Republic of Congo - Statement by Mr. Nicolas de Rivière, permanent representative of France to the United Nations, to the Security Council (New York - September 30, 2022)
[translation from French]
I thank Ms. Keita and the other speakers for their briefings.
It is imperative to restore security in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Civilians and security forces continue to be the target of armed groups. A coordinated response by the States of the region is urgent. France welcomes the efforts of the Community of East African States and Angola. The Nairobi and Luanda processes should help to demobilize the armed groups and restore confidence in the region. The support of the United Nations, the African Union and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region will be crucial.
At the initiative of President Macron, the Presidents of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda met last week in New York. They agreed to act together to obtain the withdrawal of the M23 from the occupied localities as quickly as possible. Commitments were taken to stop the activities of all armed groups in the region.
MONUSCO must regain its freedom of action to protect civilians.
France deplores the deaths of Congolese citizens and UN peacekeepers during the recent demonstrations against the Mission. It is primarily the responsibility of the Congolese authorities to ensure the security of the United Nations and to fight against misinformation. The Status of Forces Agreement must be respected and the mission’s freedom of movement restored. All light must also be shed on the serious incident that occurred in Kasindi.
France takes note of the requests for a review of the MONUSCO transition plan expressed by the Congolese authorities. This transition is already underway. In June, the mission left Tanganyika, where the country team must be strengthened to preserve the gains made.
Ultimately, MONUSCO’s gradual withdrawal will depend on the achievement of the benchmark set out in the Transition Plan. Until then, MONUSCO must continue to implement its robust civilian protection mandate. It can count on France’s support. This same objective of protecting civilians must also guide the regional force announced in Nairobi. This force will have to coordinate closely with MONUSCO.
Finally, efforts to build stability must not falter as the 2023 elections approach.
Measures have been taken by Congolese authorities in preparation for the elections. If requested by the national authorities, the European Union has the means to assist the country to prepare.
In the meantime, efforts must continue to stabilize the Democratic Republic of Congo. I am thinking of the response to the humanitarian emergency, the protection of human rights and the fight against hate speech. The sustainable exploitation of natural resources and the fight against illicit trafficking will be additional factors for peace.