Statement at the UNSC Briefing on the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Statement30 September 2022
Merci Monsieur le President
Thank you also Special Representative Keita, Mr. Mudinga, and our colleague Michel in his role as Chair of the 1533 Committee for your briefings today.
Ireland is deeply disturbed by the ongoing insecurity in eastern DRC and recent demonstrations against MONUSCO. M23 activities and their growing sophistication, and the increased attacks by the Allied Democratic Forces, CODECO and other armed groups are alarming.
This persistent armed group activity is contributing to the complex humanitarian crisis. It is undermining humanitarian organisations’ ability to deliver assistance to 27 million people in dire need. The consequences of failing to resolve this conflict would be catastrophic.
There are also consistently high rates of human rights violations and abuses, conflict-related sexual violence, and gender based violence perpetrated by armed groups and state actors.
Ireland condemns these acts. We must end impunity and deliver accountability for all instances of violence, human rights violations and abuses. Accountability is necessary for all actors, and we await the outcome of the joint investigation into the Kasindi border incident.
Ireland continues to support MONUSCO’s role in the protection of civilians and we also recognise the challenges that it faces. It is imperative that the Mission deliver on this role to increase communication with communities and partners.
We also remain concerned at the tensions between the DRC and Rwanda.
We welcome the recent meetings between Presidents Tshisekedi and Kagame, including those convened by President Macron, President Lourenço and former President Kenyatta.
We hope that these discussions result in de-escalation and concerted effort to address the activities of armed groups.
Ireland has consistently highlighted that regional cooperation is paramount for peace. We reiterate the importance of the PSC Framework and commend regional member states, the ICGLR, the African Union, the East African Community and SADC for their efforts to ease tensions and build trust.
Ireland continues to advocate for dialogue and diplomatic solutions. We urge the full inclusion of civil society, and providing the space for women’s full participation across these efforts toward peace. For any peace process to succeed, and to be sustained, women must be at its centre.
We urge all parties to engage constructively with the ongoing Nairobi process. We reiterate that the deployment of the East African Community Regional Force should be progressed in tandem with the political track.
The deployment must have clear objectives, and must be delivered in close cooperation and coordination with MONUSCO and other actors. The Regional Force must comply with human rights standards and accountabilities such as the Human Rights Due Diligence Policy commitments.
Disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration are fundamental to a lasting peace in the DRC. We welcome the support of the multi-donor Stabilisation Coherence Fund to the Disarmament, Demobilisation, Community Recovery and Stabilisation Programme. We also recognise the Government and MONUSCO’s work to strengthen the security and justice sectors.
Effective transitions are essential for sustaining peace. Ireland recently hosted a High Level Event on ‘Ensuring the Success of Transitions in UN Peace Operations – Implementing Security Council Resolution 2594.’
This event marked one year since the unanimous adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2594, the first standalone resolution on UN Transitions.
We reiterate the need for inclusive, integrated planning for transitions, and we urge that transition processes respond to the conditions on the ground, first and foremost.
Any review of the joint transition plan must recognise this. Much remains to be done to advance towards the agreed benchmarks on the security, protection and stabilisation of the DRC.
Ireland welcomes President Tshisekedi’s commitment to conduct elections in 2023, in line with constitutional deadlines.
Holding free, fair and inclusive elections is another vital benchmark toward a peaceful and prosperous future for all the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.