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

Merci, Madame la Présidente.


Je voudrais également remercier la Représentante Spéciale Bintou pour son intervention éclairante et importante ce matin. Chère Bintou, l’Irlande se félicite de votre leadership et du travail essentiel de la MONUSCO.


Je reconnais également la présence ce matin de notre collègue, le représentant permanent de la RDC.


Madame la Présidente, je souhaiterais aborder trois points.


Premièrement, l’Irlande se félicite de l’engagement exprimé par le Président Tshisekedi à tenir des élections en 2023, conformément à la constitution. Nous nous félicitons de l’adoption d’une feuille de route électorale par la Commission Électorale Nationale Indépendante, et soulignons l’importance d’un processus électoral inclusif, crédible, en temps opportun. A défaut, cela pourrait nuire à la cohésion sociale. 


Créer la stabilité en RDC de l’Est dépend de nombreux facteurs. La coopération régionale devrait être renforcée, y compris par l’Accord Cadre de la Paix, la Sécurité et la Coopération pour la RDC et par la Conférence Internationale sur la Région des Grands Lacs.


Nous félicitons le Président Tshisekedi pour la tenue de la dixième session du mécanisme régional de suivi au Kinshasa. Cette réunion ainsi que son communiqué démontrent l’engagement continue aux efforts communs en faveur de l’établissement d’une paix durable par le dialogue, la coordination et la collaboration.


Une stratégie compréhensive sur la réforme du secteur de la sécurité est nécessaire.


Le renforcement du système de justice, la lutte contre l’impunité et la mise en œuvre d’un processus communautaire de désarmement, démobilisation et réintégration des anciens combattants sont également indispensables. L’inclusion et la participation significative des femmes sera essentiels pour le succès et la durabilité de tous ces efforts.


Madam President, my second point.


Ireland is gravely concerned by the continuing insecurity and dire humanitarian and human rights situations in eastern DRC. We urge the Government to ensure that the implementation of the state of siege is time bound, with clearly measurable objectives. Military operations must be consistent with international law including international human rights law and international humanitarian law.


Ireland welcomes the efforts to establish effective tripartite coordination between MONUSCO, the FARDC, and the UPDF. This is essential to ensure the protection of civilians and the safety and security of UN personnel and humanitarian workers. We remain concerned by the incident in which FARDC soldiers fired at a MONUSCO patrol in North Kivu, and welcome the Congolese authorities’ assurances that they will initiate investigations.


Ireland strongly condemns all attacks against civilians and Bintou we note your concerning remarks in this regard today. Persistent and sustained attacks by armed groups on civilians in eastern DRC, and the attack last month on the Plaine Savo IDP site where more than 60 of the DRC’s most vulnerable people lost their lives, show just how challenging it will be to build a sustained peace in the DRC. They are tragic reminders also of course of how badly it is needed.


Madam President,


Ireland notes the verdict in the case of the assassination of UN experts Michael Sharp and Zaida Catalan and their four Congolese companions. We call on the authorities to maintain the moratorium on the death penalty, and take steps towards abolishing it in law.


We remain deeply concerned about violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, including conflict-related sexual violence, committed by armed groups and State agents. All survivors of such violations must be provided with safe and unhindered access to appropriate medical and other services and to reparations. We urge the Government of the DRC to accelerate the work of the National Transitional Justice Commission in this regard.


Third, Madam President,


We welcome the Transition Plan and its benchmarks, which can offer a comprehensive framework for mobilising the collective efforts of the Government, UN system, and all stakeholders, including civil society and youth. The recent progress report is a starting point, though we would wish to see more regionally disaggregated data and more clarity in relation to the measurement of progress against benchmarks.


Ireland is pleased to see strengthened planning and coordination between the Government and the UN system to ensure MONUSCO’s sustainable withdrawal from Tanganyika province. Given the security challenges that persist in certain areas, we believe it is vital that the drawdown of the Mission’s presence in the province is conducted in a phased and responsible manner. Such a drawdown will help to preserve the hard won gains made by and for the people of the DRC.


Before concluding, Madam President,


Like others, we have become aware of reports this morning that a MONUSCO helicopter crashed in the North Kivu region of Eastern DRC. We understand that the circumstances of this incident are being investigated and that a search and rescue mission is being prepared. Of course, details on casualties remain to be confirmed but I wanted to say, in concluding, that our thoughts are with the MONUSCO Mission on this difficult morning. They serve on the front lines of peace in an extremely difficult context. Of course we await further details on this serious incident.


Merci beaucoup, Madame la Présidente.

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