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CIAT calls for the reduction and billeting of the forces of both presidential candidates

Monuc - September 11, 2006 3:29 PM

CIAT - Congo

The second round of the presidential election, as well as the provincial elections approaches. In order that the election campaign, as well as the polls and their aftermath take place in a climate of peace, calm and security, the CIAT* requires the billeting of all the units of the FARDC, on the whole national territory, except for those committed to joint operations with MONUC in the east of the country.

The security of the elections is the task of the National Congolese Police and not of the army, whose tasks are distinct and different. Meanwhile the CIAT is strongly worried by the abundance and circulation, without control, of weapons and men-at-arms in the province of Kinshasa.

The CIAT and the whole of the international community will condemn without reserve anyone who would take up arms in the capital where the civilian population would be thus threatened.

They would condemn all the more a new recourse to heavy weapons, such as tanks or other engines of war which should be only used for the defense of the country. So that the risks of new violence and armed confrontations are at least reduced, the CIAT requires the following:

The strict billeting, without exception, of all FARDC military units in the province of Kinshasa, as well as their collective heavy armaments, as well as the strict prohibition of the movement of men-at-arms in the province except for agents on official business, the National Congolese Police and multinational forces;

The reduction and billeting of the protection forces of the two candidates, and their substitution with MONUC and EUFOR troops as protection, until the end of the process of transition;

The establishment of a checking and control mechanism in relation to billeting, in particular using liaison officers, so that all sanctions are fully complied with;

The CIAT calls on all the Congolese political leaders, military and civilians to commit themselves to respecting and promoting these measures so that the electoral process can continue under the best possible conditions, in the higher interests of the nation;

Finally, the CIAT reminds all the actors of the transition of their obligation to strictly respect the provisions of the relevant resolutions of the Security Council of the United Nations relating to the restrictions on the importation of weapons in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

*The CIAT is composed of the five permanent members of the Security Council (China, France, Greta Britain, the USA and Russia, in addition to Belgium Canada, South Africa, Angola, Gabon, Zambia, the European Union (Council and Presidency), the African Union (Council and Presidency) and MONUC.

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