Posted by: africanpressorganization | 10 November 2008

European Council Conclusions on the Democratic Republic of the Congo

 

 


 

 

European Council Conclusions on the Democratic Republic of the Congo

 

KINSHASA, Dem. Rep. of Congo (DRC) November 10, 2008/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Council adopted the following conclusions:

“1. The Council heard a report from its President, following his visit to Goma on 31 October

and 1 November 2008.

2. It is very concerned at the increase in clashes in North Kivu and the consequences for the

population of the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the region as a whole.

3. It is very concerned at the fighting that has occurred since 28 August 2008 and the serious

humanitarian consequences of the recent offensive by the CNDP, resulting in large numbers

of displaced people in North Kivu. It welcomes the decisions taken by the European

Commission and the Member States to increase humanitarian aid to the civilian population

affected by this crisis. It calls on all the parties involved to guarantee unconditional access to

these people.

4. The Council firmly condemns the continuing unacceptable violations of human rights in the

east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in particular the numerous cases of sexual

violence and the recruitment and use of child soldiers by the armed groups. It calls on all the

parties involved to stop such violations of human rights. It would point out that the DRC

Government is responsible for the behaviour of its armed forces and urges it to make every

effort to strengthen the protection of the civilian population and to fight against impunity.

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5. The Council urges all the parties involved to respect the ceasefire. It would emphasise once

more the urgency of finding a political solution, which is the only way to restore long-term

stability to the region. The EU will continue to contribute to the diplomatic efforts which are

essential to consolidate the ceasefire and ease tensions in the long term, in particular in the

framework of international facilitation.

6. The Council reiterates its firm belief that the Goma and Nairobi processes are still the

appropriate framework for stabilising the situation in the east of the Democratic Republic of

the Congo in the long term.

7. The Council calls on the CNDP to rejoin the Goma peace process in a constructive spirit and

without delay. It reaffirms its support for the Congolese authorities in the search for a

political solution to the crisis. It welcomes the programme put forward by the Congolese

National Assembly. It calls on all the parties to the Goma and Nairobi agreements to commit

themselves unreservedly to implementing the undertakings entered into.

8. It reiterates the need for further efforts to bring to an end the activity of foreign armed groups

in the east of the DRC, in particular the FDLR. It calls on the DRC and other governments in

the region to take the necessary steps to this end. It calls on the countries in the region to

respect the sovereignty of the DRC.

9. It points out that the illegal exploitation of natural resources in the east of the Congo is a

source of funding for the rebel groups and, therefore, of instability in the region. It reiterates

the importance of combating such illegal exploitation and of the role played by the MONUC

in this respect, in association with the United Nations Sanctions Committee for the DRC, and

is prepared to consider all means of stepping up such action.

10. The Council urges the authorities of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic

of Rwanda to step up their cooperation in order to implement the commitments entered into

in Nairobi, and to give priority to dialogue and consultation to help bring about lasting peace

in the east of the Congo and stability in the region.

11. The Council reiterates its support for the MONUC in difficult circumstances and urges that

all efforts should be made to allow it to fully assume its role. In the light of the latest

developments, the Council stresses the importance of the forthcoming discussions on

renewing the mandate of the MONUC and on strengthening its operational capacities. In this

context it calls for enhanced cooperation between the EU, its Member States and the

MONUC.

12. The Council welcomes the initiative of President Mwai Kibaki, acting Chairman of the

International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, and President Jakaya Kikwete,

President-in-office of the African Union, of organising the Summit on the crisis in the east of

the DRC on 7 November in Nairobi. It welcomes the final declaration of the Heads of State

and Government and is pleased at the involvement of the States of the region in the quest for

a solution to the crisis. The Council notes with interest the appointment of a team of

facilitators including the former President of the Republic of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, as

the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the former President of

the United Republic of Tanzania, Mr Benjamin Mkapa. The Council underlines the EU’s

commitment to work together with the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region

and the African Union to stabilise the situation in the east of the DRC.

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13. The Council will keep a close eye on the humanitarian and security situation in the east of

the DRC so that it can reflect in greater detail on the different courses of action that may be

envisaged in the light of circumstances.”

 

SOURCE : European Council


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