SECURITY COUNCIL CONDEMNS CAPTURE
Also Calls on Government of DRC to Resume Participation
NEW YORK, 19 March (UN Headquarters) -- The Security Council this afternoon condemned the resumption of fighting in the Moliro pocket, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the capture of the city of Moliro by the Rassemblement Congolais pour la Démocratie (RCD-Goma), and stressed that such action was a violation of the ceasefire.
Unanimously adopting resolution 1399 (2002), the Council demanded that RCD-Goma troops withdraw immediately and without condition from Moliro and further demanded that all parties withdraw to the defensive positions called for in the Harare disengagement sub-plans.
The resolution also demanded that the RCD-Goma withdraw from Pweto, which it occupied in contravention of the Kampala and Harare disengagement plan, so as to permit the demilitarization of that location. It demanded and that all other parties also withdraw from locations they occupy in contravention of the Kampala and Harare disengagement plan.
The Council called on Rwanda to exert its influence on the RCD-Goma so that the demands of the resolution adopted today are implemented. It further called on the parties to the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement to refrain from any military action or other provocation, especially while the inter-Congolese dialogue is taking place.
[The inter-Congolese dialogue, taking place in Sun City, South Africa, had been stalled since 14 March.]
The text of today’s resolution stressed the importance of continuing the dialogue and called on the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to immediately resume its participation in the process.
The meeting began at 4:41 p.m. and was adjourned 4:45 p.m.
The full text of resolution 1399 (2002) reads as follows:
"The Security Council,
"Recalling its previous resolutions and statements by its President,
"Recalling the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement (S/1999/815) and stressing that the ceasefire among the parties to this agreement had been respected since January 2001,
"Recalling that the Inter-Congolese Dialogue is an essential element of the peace process for the Democratic Republic of the Congo,
"Determining that the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo poses a threat to international peace and security in the region,
"1. Condemns the resumption of fighting in the Moliro pocket, and the capture of Moliro by RCD-Goma, and stresses that this is a major violation of the ceasefire;
"2. Stresses that no party to the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement should be allowed to make military gains while a peace process is under way and while a peacekeeping operation is deployed;
"3. Demands that RCD-Goma troops withdraw immediately and without condition from Moliro and also demands that all parties withdraw to the defensive positions called for in the Harare disengagement sub-plans;
"4. Demands also that RCD-Goma withdraw from Pweto, which it occupies in contravention of the Kampala and Harare disengagement plan, so as to permit the demilitarization of this location and that all other parties also withdraw from locations they occupy in contravention of the Kampala and Harare disengagement plan;
"5. Recalls that Kisangani also has to be demilitarized;
"6. Reminds RCD-Goma and all other parties that they must comply with their obligations with regard to the Ceasefire Agreement, the disengagement plan and relevant resolutions of the Security Council;
"7. Calls on Rwanda to exert its influence on RCD-Goma so that RCD-Goma implement the demands of this resolution;
"8. Welcomes the deployment of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) in Moliro and in Pweto, and calls on all the parties to provide full cooperation to MONUC and to ensure the safety and security of MONUC personnel on the ground;
"9. Calls on the parties to the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement to refrain from any military action or other provocation especially while the Inter-Congolese Dialogue is taking place;
"10. Stresses the importance of continuing the Inter-Congolese Dialogue and calls on the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to resume immediately its participation in the dialogue;
"11. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter."
When the Security Council met this afternoon to consider the question of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, it had before it a letter dated 18 March from the permanent representative of that country addressed to the Council President (document S/2002/286).
According to that letter, troops of the Rwandan Patriotic Army, assisted by elements of the Rassemblement Congolais pour la Démocratie (RCD-Goma), had besieged the town of Moliro, province of Katanga, on Saturday, 19 March, in flagrant violation of the ceasefire.
The Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to the letter, called on the Council to meet urgently to denounce Rwanda and RCD-Goma for the resumption of hostilities and to demand that Rwanda and RCD-Goma should halt the hostilities, immediately and unconditionally and withdraw their troops to their initial positions.
The Council's President had also received a letter, dated 18 March, from the Permanent Representative of Rwanda, according to which "the Kinshasa Government" was constantly targeting RCD-Goma, whose name it had taken to confusing with the Rwandan Patriotic Army (APR). That deliberate confusion, according to the letter, sought to play down the importance of the largest Congolese opposition force and thus systematically deny the panoply of profound reasons which prompted the Congolese of RCD-Goma to take up arms against Kinshasa.
Regarding the inter-Congolese dialogue, the letter stated that the Kinshasa Government was sabotaging that dialogue, as it had stated that there would be no inter-Congolese dialogue as long as Rwanda remained in the Congo. That statement went against the Lusaka Agreement, all clauses of which must be implemented, including the ones negotiating the inter-Congolese dialogue, the disarmament and disengagement of the "negative" forces, and the withdrawal of all foreign forces from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Annexed to the letter was a statement of 15 March of the Rwanda Government, which, among other things, reiterated that its forces had not participated in the current fighting in the Moliro area, that it had not sent any fresh forces into the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and that it had no intention of doing so.
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