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Security Council wants eastern Congo armed groups to lay down arms and surrender to authorities

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United Nations Security Council - March 13, 2008

Gravely concerned that the continued presence of armed groups and militias in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo perpetuated a climate of insecurity in the whole region, the Security Council demanded today that their members immediately lay down their arms and turn themselves in to Congolese and United Nations Mission authorities for disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, resettlement and reintegration.

Resolution 1804 (2008) also Stipulates Release of Child Fighters, End to Sexual Abuse

Gravely concerned that the continued presence of armed groups and militias in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo perpetuated a climate of insecurity in the whole region, the Security Council demanded today that their members immediately lay down their arms and turn themselves in to Congolese and United Nations Mission authorities for disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, resettlement and reintegration.

Unanimously adopting the French-led resolution 1804 (2008), the Council also demanded that the Forces democratiques de liberation du Rwanda (FDLR), former Rwandan Armed Forces (ex-FAR/Interahamwe), and other Rwandan armed groups operating in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo immediately stop recruiting and using children, release all children associated with them and halt gender-based violence, particularly rape and other forms of sexual abuse, stressing that those responsible must be brought to justice.

The Council called on the Congolese and Rwandan Governments to intensify their cooperation to implement their commitments under the Nairobi communiqué of 9 November 2007 (document S/2007/679), with a view to creating conditions conducive to the repatriation of demobilized fighters.

By a related provision of the resolution, the Council recalled that the targeted measures, including a travel ban and asset freeze imposed by resolution 1596 (2005), had been extended by resolutions 1649 (2005) and 1698 (2006) to apply to political and military leaders of armed groups operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo who impeded the disarmament and voluntary repatriation or resettlement of combatants belonging to those groups. It stressed that those measures were applicable to the leaders of FDLR, ex-FAR/Interahamwe and other Rwandan armed groups designated in accordance with those resolutions.

In that connection, the Council undertook to consider, in its forthcoming review of those measures, expanding their applicability to other members of those armed groups or to persons providing other forms of assistance to them.

The meeting began at 1:05 p.m. and ended at 1:08 p.m.

Resolution

The full text of resolution 1804 (2008) reads as follows:

'The Security Council,

'Recalling its previous resolutions, in particular resolutions 1649 (2005), 1771 (2007), 1794 (2007) and 1797 (2008), and the statements by its President concerning the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Great Lakes region,

'Reaffirming its commitment to the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of Rwanda as well as all States in the region,

'Expressing its grave concern at the continued presence of the Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda (FDLR), ex-Rwandan Armed Forces (ex-FAR)/Interahamwe, and other Rwandan armed groups referred to in the joint communiqué (S/2007/679) of the Governments of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of Rwanda signed in Nairobi on 9 November 2007 ('the Nairobi Communiqué') operating in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, which continue to pose a serious threat to the peace and security of the entire Great Lakes region,

'Deploring the persistence of violations of human rightsand international humanitarian law carried out by the FDLR, ex-FAR/Interahamwe, and other Rwandan armed groups operating in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, condemning in particular sexual violence perpetrated by those groups, recalling its resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security and 1612 (2005) on children in armed conflict and the conclusions endorsed by the Security Council on Children and Armed Conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (S/AC.51/2007/17),

'Recognizing the commitment and sustained efforts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of Rwanda, other countries of the region and their international partners to solve their common security concerns and achieve and sustain regional peace and stability, as expressed in particular in the Nairobi communiqué and the Conclusions of the high-level meeting of the Tripartite Plus Joint Commission held in Addis Ababa on 4 and 5 December 2007,

'Recalling the signing in Nairobi on 15 December 2006 of the Pact on Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes Region, and underscoring the commitments not to support rebel armed groups and to cooperate with a view to disarming and dismantling existing rebel armed groups,

'Welcoming the decision of the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to hold a meeting in Kisangani to address the issue of the presence of FDLR, ex-FAR/Interahamwe and other Rwandan armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,

'Supporting the ongoing efforts of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) to promote the voluntary disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, resettlement and reintegration (DDRRR) of these groups,

'Expressing also its grave concern at the continued presence of other armed groups and militias in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which perpetuate a climate of insecurity in the whole region, underscoring that the statements of commitment (Actes d'engagement) signed in Goma on 23 January 2008, together with the Nairobi communiqué, represent a major step towards the restoration of lasting peace and stability in the Great Lakes region, calling on the signatories to the Goma statements of commitment to take immediate action in support thereof, and expressing its intention to continue to monitor closely their implementation,

'1. Demands that all members of the FDLR, ex-FAR/Interahamwe, and other Rwandan armed groups operating in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo immediately lay down their arms and present themselves without any further delay or preconditions to Congolese authorities and MONUC for their disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, resettlement and reintegration;

'2. Demands also that the FDLR, ex-FAR/Interahamwe, and other Rwandan armed groups operating in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo immediately stop recruiting and using children, release all children associated with them, and put an end to gender-based violence, particularly rape and other forms of sexual abuse, and all other forms of violence, and stresses the need for those responsible to be brought to justice;

'3. Recalls MONUC's mandate to facilitate the voluntary demobilization and repatriation of disarmed foreign combatants and their dependants, and to use all necessary means, within the limits of its capacity and in the areas where its units are deployed, to support operations led by the integrated brigades of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC) with a view to disarming the recalcitrant armed groups in order to ensure their participation in the disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, resettlement and reintegration process;

'4. Calls upon theGovernments of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of Rwanda to intensify their cooperation to implement their commitments under the Nairobi communiqué, in particular with a view to creating the conditions conducive to the repatriation of demobilized combatants;

'5. Recalls that the targeted measures including a travel ban and an asset freeze imposed by paragraphs 13 and 15 of resolution 1596 (2005) were extended by resolutions 1649 (2005) and 1698 (2006) to apply in particular to political and military leaders of armed groups operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo who impede the disarmament and the voluntary repatriation or resettlement of combatants belonging to those groups, and stresses that those measures are applicable to leaders of the FDLR, ex-FAR/Interahamwe and other Rwandan armed groups designated in accordance with the provisions of those resolutions;

'6. Undertakes to consider in its forthcoming review of the measures described in paragraph 5 above, expanding their applicability, as appropriate and taking into account participation in or contribution to the DDRRR process, to other members of the FDLR, ex-FAR/Interahamwe or other Rwandan armed groups operating in the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo or to persons providing other forms of assistance to them;

'7. Stresses that the arms embargo imposed by resolution 1493 (2003), as expanded by resolution 1596 (2005), prohibits the provision of arms and any related materiel or technical training and assistance to all foreign armed groups and illegal Congolese militias in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including the FDLR, ex-FAR/Interahamwe, and other Rwandan armed groups;

'8. Calls upon Member States to consider taking the measures necessary to prevent the provision by their nationals or from their territories of any financial, technical or other forms of support to or for the benefit of the FDLR, ex-FAR/Interahamwe or other Rwandan armed groups operating in the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo;

'9. Reiterates its call on all States to intensify cooperation with and render all necessary assistance to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda;

'10. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.'


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