General Assembly Security Council

UNSC briefing on MONUSCO [Democratic Republic of the Congo]

(30 September 2022, 1000hrs)

 

Approved India Statement

 

Thank you, Mr. President. 

 

I thank Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG)Bintou Keita for her update on United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). I also thank the Permanent Representative (PR) of Gabon for his briefing on the activities of the 1533 Committee. I welcome the presence of the representative of the DRC, Uganda and Rwandain today’s briefing. 

 

2.    Over the past few months, this Council has met several times to discuss the security situation ineastern DRC, particularly the relentless attacks against peacekeepers. As one of the largest Troop Contributing Countries in MONUSCO, we are deeply concerned at the recent turn of events. The increasing activities of the armed groups, particularly the M-23, amongst other armed groups such as ADF, CODECO, FDLR, Mai Maietc call into question the overall approach towards conflict resolution in DRC. 

 

3.    The complex set of factors that contribute to the situation ineastern DRC require a comprehensive political solution, not a military one. It is important to draw the right lessons from the recent history of eastern DRC. We have been consistently highlighting this aspect in our interventions in this Council and with the Secretariat as well. The calls for robust mandate for MONUSCO have fed into the ongoing disinformation campaign against the UN peacekeepers. 

 

4.    As a result, peacekeepers were attacked by the agitating population and armed elements, resulting in avoidable killing of peacekeepers and civilians. We reiterate our strong condemnation of attacks against peacekeepers and hope that DRC Government will bring perpetrators to justice. We also hope the Mission leadership accords primacy to addressing political challenges impeding MONUSCO’s effective mandate fulfillment.

 

5.    In this context, the deployment of East African Community Joint Regional Force is a positive development. We look forward to the details of deployment, particularly the timelines, concept of operations and coordination with MONUSCO troops. We also underscore the importance of proactive and purposeful regional initiativesprioritizing development, demobilization of armed groups in the eastern DRC and mediation effortsfor cessation of hostilities.

 

6.    The success of the Disarmament, Demobilization, Community Reintegration and Stabilization Program is very crucial for the broader political process underway. This cannot be overemphasized. But getting armed groups to lay down their weapons and commit to the peace process would  require strengthening the community reintegration pillar.

 

7.    We also welcome the progress made towards laying the ground for the upcoming elections in 2023. We hope political actors will work towards building consensus on key aspects of the electoral process, and toward increasing meaningful participation of Congolese women in the country’s political and peace processes. 

 

8.    While the closure of MONUSCO’s field offices in Tanganyika in June went as planned, the situation on the ground should guide MONUSCO’s eventual drawdown to ensure that gains made in violence-prone provinces take firm roots. The transition and eventual exit of MONUSCO must be gradual, responsible, and orderly.

 

9.    We reiterate that all components of a peacekeeping mission must be equally and impartially assessed given their inter-linkages. We also continue to call for the implementation of Resolution 2589 on ensuring accountability for crimes against peacekeepers.      

 

Mr. President,

 

10. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is at a crucial juncture. A peaceful and stable DRCwill contribute immensely to the peace and development of the region. The DRCleadership must stay the course and continue providing impetus to the political peace process. India’s commitment to DRC and its people dates back to 1961, when India sent its peacekeepers to protect the territorial integrity of newly independent DRC in 1961. Our commitment, since, has only got stronger.Through developmental partnership,including in critical infrastructure projects, and capacity building programs, India remains steadfast in assisting the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in their pursuit towards lasting peace, stability, and development.