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Statement at the UNSC Briefing on the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Merci, Madame la Président.


Je voudrais également remercier la Secrétaire-Générale Adjointe Pobee ainsi que l’Envoi Spéciale du Secrétaire Générale Xia pour leurs interventions cet après-midi.


Je souhaiterais également reconnaitre la présence de Son Excellence Monsieur le Ministre des Affaires Etrangères de la République Démocratique du Congo. Vous êtes le bienvenu Monsieur le Ministre.


Notre discussion est opportune, suite à l’évolution des développements en RDC de l’est et dans la région pendant les dernières semaines.


Je souhaiterais aborder trois points aujourd’hui – la détérioration du conflit, la situation humanitaire dramatique, et l’importance de la coopération régionale. Ces points sont étroitement liés au besoin d’une réponse cohérente au conflit actuel en RDC de l’est.


L’Irlande est extrêmement préoccupée par le taux augmenté de violence et d’insécurité, notamment perpétrée par l’ADF, la CODECO et le renaissant M23. Je réitère notre condamnation des attentats contre la MONUSCO et les positions des Forces Armées de la RDC, commis par le groupe M23 il y a une semaine. Je condamne également dans les termes les plus fermes les attentats de ce weekend commis par l’ADF qui a entrainé la mort de 27 civiles.


Ces attentats sont perpétrés dans le contexte d’une violence et des attentats persistants par les groupes armés contre les civiles en RDC de l’est, y compris le ciblage de la population la plus vulnérable dans les camps de personnes déplacées. Nous demandons à tous les acteurs à mettre fin à cette violence, aux violations et abus des droits de l’homme et aux violations du droit international humanitaire.


Madam President,


The humanitarian situation is extremely worrying. Conflict is contributing to hunger and generating staggering levels of food insecurity and malnutrition, as well as adding to increased levels of forced migration and displacement.


All too often, we see that this can lead to increased risk for women and girls, including risk of sexual and gender-based violence.


Trust, transparency and cooperation will be fundamental to resolving the conflict which has plagued eastern DRC for so long.


MONUSCO, working with the FARDC, has done much to address the threat posed by armed groups in the DRC. But no stakeholder can solve this challenge unilaterally, nor can the solution be found in military action alone. 


Regional cooperation needs to be strengthened, including through the PSC Framework and ICGLR. A comprehensive strategy on security sector reform is required, as is reinforcing the justice system and fighting impunity. Women’s inclusion and meaningful participation is essential across all of these efforts.


Ireland commends the recent positive developments in the Great Lakes region as leaders work to deescalate tension, build confidence and advance regional cooperation. Regional economic cooperation and integration will clearly be key to lasting peace in the region, and the positive signs of progress are there.


The recent meeting of the Heads of State Conclave on the DRC is further evidence of the commitment of countries in the region to work together to promote regional peace and security. The Conclave has set in motion necessary discussions between the Government of the DRC and armed groups, and we hope that this can lead to sustained and sustainable peace in the Eastern DRC. It is vital now that these armed groups participate unconditionally in the political process, and cease all violence that could undermine this dialogue.


To support this, the Disarmament, Demobilisation, Community Recovery and Stabilisation Programme must be fit for purpose, with the ability to be scaled up rapidly as required. For this to happen, the Government of the DRC will need adequate and timely support from partners.


While the establishment of the Nairobi peace process has given cause for hope, worsening violence could quickly cause these tentative efforts to unravel. All parties in the Conclave must work together to build a sustainable peace.


Politicisation of instability must not deepen the current crisis. Regional partners must ensure efforts to deescalate tensions, build trust and collaborate. That must remain to the fore to ensure the success of the Nairobi process.


Ireland therefore urges sustained regional cooperation in responding to the challenges posed by armed group activity in eastern DRC. We hope that the political process now underway will build trust and establish channels of communication which will ultimately help deliver peace and prosperity to the people of the DRC and the wider region.


Thank you.




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