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Round table talks on DRC Security Sector Reform

MONUC - February 26, 2008

The opening ceremony of two days of round table talks on the DRC Security Sector Reform, which aims at a reform of the DRC Armed Forces (FARDC) and the National Congolese Police (PNC), was held in Kinshasa on 25 February 2008.

The opening ceremony of two days of round table talks on the DRC Security Sector Reform, which aims at a reform of the DRC Armed Forces (FARDC) and the National Congolese Police (PNC), was held in Kinshasa on 25 February 2008.

In attendance at the opening ceremony were the DRC Ministers for Justice, Defence and the Interior, as well as FARDC and PNC officials, MONUC and European Union representatives and foreign ambassadors.

Minister for Justice and Human Rights Mr. Mutombo Bakafua said that the talks “offer the opportunity to make an assessment of this sensitive sector, and to evaluate our needs in view of the reform that the population waits for.”

“These talks can offer resolutions that will allow the government of the Republic to take measures which will give a new image of our justice system, which establishes the facts and rights of all, without consideration for ethnicity, nationality, political leaning or social status,” he added.

Minister for Defence Mr. Chikez Diemu said that the reform plan of the FARDC is based around short, medium and long term objectives.

“The short term (2008-2010), will see the setting in place of a Rapid Reaction Force; the medium term 2008 -2015 with a Covering Force, and finally the long term 2015- 2020 with a Principal Defense Force.”

He added that the reform plan rests on a programme of synergy based on the four pillars of dissuasion, production, reconstruction and excellence.

“The Rapid Reaction Force is expected to focus on dissuasion, through a Rapid Reaction Force of 12 battalions, capable of aiding MONUC to secure the east of the country and to realise constitutional missions,” Mr. Diemu explained.

Minister of the Interior Mr. Denis Kalume said that the state of affairs prevailing in the police since the start of the transition period has been “characterised by disfunctionality.”

“It is imperative to reform and to reorganize the police in order to reach a degree of professionalism worthy of a police in a republican and modern state. To achieve this, it was necessary to look to the future to have a common vision for the police, and then to elaborate a plan of action to achieve this vision,” he explained.

“The development of a law project on the composition, the organization and the working of the police will take place, as well as medium and long term projects under this law project,” he added.

Minister Kalume said that the principal expectations of his ministry from the talks were a general plan of action for police reform in the short, medium and long term, which includes the security of the local elections, in addition to a specific emergency plan to face the immediate security requirements, including the fight against armed crime and violent criminality in the main urban centres.

Following the speeches, the Minister of Agriculture Mr. Francois Mobutu, representing Prime Minister Mr. Antoine Gizenga, officially opened the talks.

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