SECURITY COUNCIL EXPANDS AUTHORIZED TROOP LEVEL IN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO TO 8,700, NOTING ‘ENCOURAGING DEVELOPMENTS’ ON GROUND
Resolution 1445 (2002) Adopted Unanimously;Welcomes Troop Withdrawals by Rwanda, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Angola
NEW YORK, 4 December (UN Headquarters) -- Taking note of "encouraging developments" on the ground in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Security Council this morning authorized the expansion of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) to a level of up to 8,700 military personnel in two task forces.
By unanimously adopting resolution 1445 (2002), the Council also endorsed a new concept of operation proposed by the Secretary-General. It mandated the deployment of the second task force when the Secretary-General determines that disarmament, demobilization and repatriation needs could not be carried out by the first task force alone.
Among the favourable developments on the ground cited in the resolution, the Council welcomed the withdrawal of 23,400 Rwandan troops from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, verified by the Third Party Verification Mechanism on 24 October. It also welcomed withdrawals by Uganda, Zimbabwe and Angola, and commitments by the parties for achieving an agreement on a political transition for the country.
By other provisions of the text, the Council stressed the importance of completing the withdrawal of foreign forces, and of progress in the voluntary disarmament and reintegration of other armed groups.
In addition, expressing deep concern over the intensification of ethnically targeted violence in the Ituri region of the country, the Council condemned all such violence and requested all parties to take immediate action to defuse tensions. It also condemned those who sought to hamper the provision of humanitarian assistance, and called for a full cessation of hostilities throughout the Democratic Republic of the Congo, particularly in South Kivu and Ituri.
The meeting began at 11:44 a.m. and adjourned at 11:47 a.m.
The full text of Security Council resolution 1445 (2002) reads, as follows:
"The Security Council,
"Recalling its previous resolutions and statements by its President regarding the Democratic Republic of the Congo,
"Reaffirming the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and of all other States in the region,
"Reaffirming further the obligation of all States to refrain from the use of force against the territorial integrity and political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purpose and principles of the United Nations,
"Reaffirming also the sovereignty of the Democratic Republic of the Congo over its natural resources,
"Recalling the responsibilities of all the parties to cooperate in the full deployment of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC),
"Recognizing the importance of a gender perspective in peacekeeping operations, in accordance with Security Council resolution 1325 (2000), and the importance of the protection of children in armed conflict, in accordance with its resolution 1379 (2001),
"Taking note of the Secretary-General's special report of 10 September 2002 (S/2002/1005) and its recommendations,
"Determining that the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo continues to pose a threat to international peace and security in the region,
"1. Welcomes the signature by the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda of the Pretoria Agreement on 30 July 2002 (S/2002/914), as well as the signature by the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda of the Luanda Agreement on 6 September 2002 and welcomes also the efforts of the Republic of South Africa, Angola, and of the Secretary-General, in facilitating the adoption of these agreements;
"2. Welcomes the decision taken by all the foreign parties to withdraw fully their troops from the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as progress in the implementation of these processes, in particular the withdrawal of 23,400 Rwandan troops from the DRC verified by the Third Party Verification Mechanism (TPVM) on 24 October, as well as withdrawals by Uganda, Zimbabwe and Angola, and stresses the importance for these withdrawals to be completed in a transparent, orderly and verified manner, and in this regard underlines the need for the parties to facilitate the verification of these withdrawals, including through the continuous provision to MONUC of detailed information on these withdrawals and requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council on this matter;
"3. Expresses full support for the TPVM, welcomes its work in helping the parties to implement the Pretoria Agreement, in accordance with Security Council resolutions and the norms of International Law, and stresses the importance of close cooperation between the Government of South Africa and MONUC in the work of TPVM;
"4. Stresses the importance of the voluntary nature of the disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, reintegration or resettlement (DDRRR) of the armed groups referred to in annex A. Chapter 9.1 of the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement (S/1999/815), calls on the leaders and members of the armed groups to enter the DDRRR process, also calls on all concerned to work to this end, emphasizes the need to intensify MONUC's public information efforts in this regard and calls on all parties to support these efforts;
"5. Stresses the importance of further early and substantial progress on the process of voluntary DDRRR throughout the country to match the progress achieved on the withdrawal of foreign forces, and urges all parties concerned to cooperate fully with MONUC in this regard;
"6. Welcomes the repatriation of ex-combatants and their dependants from Kamina, though noting that the numbers repatriated falls short of the original numbers assembled, and recognizes the good will and efforts of the Governments of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda in cooperating on this issue with MONUC thus far;
"7. Welcomes the efforts of the Government of Rwanda in providing guarantees that ex-combatants and their dependants will be able to return in conditions of safety and security, stresses the importance of such guarantees, stresses also the importance of confidence-building measures, including international monitoring and reintegration assistance, and calls upon the United Nations Secretariat, and other relevant bodies, in consultation with the signatories of the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement, to address the issue of the resettlement of any ex-combatants who may not wish to return to their home country;
"8. Welcomes the statement of 24 September 2002 of the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo banning the activities of the Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda throughout the territory of the DRC and declaring the leaders of this movement persona non grata on its territory, and encourages it to implement further their commitments to advance the DDRRR of the armed groups in accordance with the Pretoria Agreement;
"9. Welcomes the commitment of the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and other Congolese parties to achieve an inclusive agreement on the political transition, stresses the importance of such an agreement to the wider peace process, calls on all Congolese parties to cooperate actively with a view to a speedy conclusion of such an agreement, and in this regard expresses its full support for the efforts of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General;
"10. Takes note of the encouraging developments on the ground, endorses the recommendations of the Secretary-General in his special report, including those relating to MONUC's support for the TPVM, as well as the proposal to extend the funding of MONUC's quick impact projects, endorses, in particular, the new concept of operation outlined in paragraphs 48 to 54 of this report and authorizes the expansion of MONUC to consist of up to 8,700 military personnel, principally comprised of two task-forces, to be deployed in a phased basis as follows: the second task force shall be deployed when the Secretary-General reports to the Council that the first task force has been successfully deployed and the disarmament, demobilization and repatriation (DDR) caseload cannot be met by the existing capacity of the first task force alone;
"11. In regard to DDR under the new MONUC concept of operation, endorses also the interim funding mechanism in paragraph 74 for the voluntary DDR of members of foreign armed groups, recognizes the importance of addressing the repatriation of the dependants along with the ex-combatants and calls on the International Community to provide the funds for this process;
12. Calls upon MONUC to pay special attention in carrying out its mandate to all aspects relating to gender perspective, in accordance with resolution 1325 (2000), as well as to the protection and reintegration of children, in accordance with resolution 1379 (2001);
"13. Stresses that the main responsibility for resolving the conflict rests with the parties themselves, that they must continue to demonstrate their will to respect fully their commitments and that further efforts will be necessary to reach a comprehensive solution to the conflict and, in this regard:
-- Calls for a full cessation of hostilities involving regular forces and armed groups throughout the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in particular in South Kivu and in Ituri;
-- Calls for the cessation of all support to the armed groups referred to in Annex A Chapter 9.1 of the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement;
-- Calls on all parties to provide full access for MONUC and the TPVM throughout the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including inside all ports, airports, airfields, military bases and border crossings;
-- Calls also for the surrender to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda of any persons indicted by the Tribunal, and
-- Reiterates its demand for Kisangani to be demilitarized without further delay or precondition;
-- Demands that all parties work to the immediate full restoration of freedom of movement on the Congo River;
"14. Expresses its deep concern over the humanitarian situation throughout the country and in particular in the Ituri region, calls on the parties to allow humanitarian agencies and organizations full access to populations in need and to ensure the safety and security of humanitarian workers, and condemns those who seek to hamper the provision of assistance to civilians in need;
"15. Expresses its deep concern over the intensification of ethnically targeted violence in the Ituri region, condemns all such violence or incitement to violence, requests all parties to take immediate actions to defuse these tensions, ensure the protection of civilians and end violations of human rights, calls on all parties, in particular the Union des Patriotes Congolais, to cooperate to set up the Ituri Pacification Commission, and requests the Secretary-General to increase the presence of MONUC stationed in the area, if he determines that the security condition allows it, in order to provide support to this process as well as to humanitarian efforts, and report back to the Council;
"16. Takes note of Uganda's commitment under the Luanda Agreement to complete the withdrawal of its forces no later than 15 December 2002, welcomes the positive interaction between the Governments of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and of Uganda since the signing of the Luanda Agreement, and calls on both parties to work, together and with MONUC, towards conditions that will allow the Agreement to be implemented in full;
"17. Reiterates that no government, military force or any other organization or individual should provide military or any other form of support to any of the groups involved in the fighting in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in particular in Ituri;
"18. Encourages MONUC to continue its assessment of police capabilities and training needs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including, when necessary, at the level of local communities, with special attention to the Ituri area;
"19. Calls on all parties to pay special attention to all aspects relating to gender, in accordance with Security Council resolution 1325 (2000), and to the protection of children, in accordance with resolution 1379 (2001);
"20. Encourages the Governments of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and, respectively, Rwanda and Uganda to take steps to normalize their relations and to cooperate to ensure mutual security along their borders as provided for in the Pretoria and Luanda agreements, and also encourages the Governments of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi to take similar steps;
"21. Stresses the crucial importance of preventing the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo from having a further destabilizing effect on the neighbouring States, in particular Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and the Central-African Republic, and calls on all parties concerned to cooperate in good faith to that end and to facilitate in this regard the continuing observation efforts by MONUC in the areas of its deployment, including eastern DRC and border areas;
"22. Reaffirms that an international conference on peace, security, democracy and development in the Great Lakes region, with participation by all the Governments of the region and all the other parties concerned, should be organized at the appropriate time under the aegis of the United Nations and the African Union with a view to strengthening stability in the region and working out conditions that will enable everyone to enjoy the right to live peacefully within national borders;
"23. Strongly condemns the repeated harassment of Radio Okapi staff and demands that all parties concerned desist from such actions;
"24. Reiterates its full support for the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and for all the dedicated MONUC personnel who operate in challenging conditions;
"25. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter."
When the Security Council met, it had before it the special report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) (document S/2002/1005). The report considers how MONUC and, through its coordination, all relevant United Nations agencies, can assist the parties to implement the peace agreement between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda. That agreement, signed in Pretoria on 30 July 2002, is on the withdrawal of the Rwandan troops from the territory of the Democratic Republic and the dismantling of the ex-FAR and Interahamwe forces there.
In addition, the report contains an analysis of the agreement between the Governments of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda on the withdrawal of Ugandan troops from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, cooperation and normalization of relations between the two countries, signed in Luanda on 6 September. The report also describes the situation in the north-eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, along with recommendations for related United Nations action.
Since the signing of the Pretoria agreement, the report states, the two parties have maintained regular contacts, and Rwanda has provided information on its plan for withdrawal to the mandated Third Party Verification Mechanism, which has been established and has held several meetings. Much more information, however, is required and the Mechanism is also awaiting information on ex-FAR/Interahamwe elements from the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is also important, the Secretary-General states, that the parties on the ground now make concrete and decisive steps to demonstrate their commitment to the agreement.
Concerning the Luanda agreement, according to the report, MONUC has observed the withdrawal of some 1,200 Ugandan troops from Beni and 650 troops from Gbadolite since late August. Such withdrawals are expected to be completed by the end of September. The Secretary-General urges the Governments of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to continue their consultations.
While noting that Zimbabwe is not a party to either agreement, the Secretary-General, in addition, calls on that Government to work closely with MONUC to ensure that its recently announced withdrawals are conducted in a transparent and orderly manner. He also calls on the parties to achieve an immediate ceasefire in the east, where there had been reports of intensified fighting, and to end all support to armed groups. The gap between positive diplomatic efforts and the deteriorating situation on the ground must not, he said, be allowed to widen. He calls on all concerned to avoid actions that would exacerbate tensions in the Ituri region.
Regarding the role of MONUC in assisting the parties to abide by their commitments under the agreements, the Secretary-General said that an adjustment of the MONUC structure and deployment had been carefully considered. In consequence, he proposes that the Mission shift the emphasis of its activity eastward, and enhance its disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, resettlement and reintegration capacity through the creation of a forward force. That force would be comprised of two robust task forces, based in Kindu and Kisangani, as well as a reserve battalion, riverine units and specialized support units.
For those purposes, the Secretary-General recommends that the authorized military strength of MONUC be increased to 8,700 total, including 760 military observers, from the current level of 640 observers and 3,600 troops. Those levels should be kept under constant review as the process unfolds. In connection with potential troop contributions, he particularly appeals to countries that could
provide specialized military units, such as those related to aviation and engineering.
At the same time, he states, the efforts of humanitarian agencies were vital in meeting the vast needs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Those agencies had recently established a task force on the situation in Ituri to monitor developments and coordinate a response. However, the overwhelming needs required generous funding from the donor community, along with adequate security arrangements, to give the agencies full access to all those in need.
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