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Security Council stresses its commitment to ensure successful presidential, provincial elections

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Monuc - September 23, 2006 12:01 PM

UN Security Council

The Security Council stressed today its commitment to the peaceful conduct of the second round of presidential and provincial elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and its determination to ensure the success of the peace process in that country, in the interests of the Congolese people, Central Africa and the Great Lakes region.

In a statement read out by Adamantios Vassilakis ( Greece), its President for the month, the Council once again paid tribute to the extraordinary commitment of the country’s citizens, demonstrated by their peaceful participation in the first stage of historic democratic elections on 30 July. The second round is scheduled for 29 October 2006.

Deploring the violence that had erupted in Kinshasa on 20 to 22 August between security forces loyal to President Joseph Kabila and Vice-President Jean-Pierre Bemba, the Council called on all political parties to restate their commitment to the peace process and to work within the framework they had agreed to with the facilitation of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC).

Sharing the serious concern expressed by the International Committee in Support of the Transition (CIAT) regarding the unchecked circulation of weapons and armed individuals in Kinshasa, the Council endorsed its call for a cantonment of the security forces of both candidates, as well as the national armed forces in the province of Kinshasa, and for a ban on the circulation of armed individuals in that province.

Underscoring to the Congolese parties the importance of preventing impunity for those responsible for violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, the Council emphasized the need for all political parties to act responsibly within the framework of democratic institutions after the elections.

It also expressed its readiness to consider possible measures against individuals and entities who would further threaten the conduct of free and fair elections, particularly through the use of “hate media”, preventing equal and responsible access to media, and inciting violence to prevent elections, dispute their outcome or subvert the peace process.
The Council invited the Committee established by resolution 1533 (2004) to help monitor illicit arms flows into the country, to examine the situation in Kinshasa, if appropriate, in the context of the arms embargo imposed by resolutions 1493 (2003) and 1596 (2005) and renewed by resolution 1698 (2006).


Presidential Statement

The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2006/40 reads as follows:

“The Security Council pays tribute once again to the extraordinary commitment of the citizens of the Democratic Republic of the Congo demonstrated by their peaceful participation in the first stage of democratic elections of historical importance to their nation.

“The Security Council commends the substantial efforts being made by the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), and the international community as a whole in support of peace and democratic elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It stresses its commitment to the peaceful conduct of the second round of the presidential election and of the provincial elections scheduled for 29 October 2006, and its determination to ensure that the peace process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo succeeds, in the interests of the Congolese people, as well as central Africa and the Great Lakes region.

“The Security Council deplores the violence that erupted in Kinshasa on 20 to 22 August 2006 between security forces loyal to President Kabila and Vice-President Bemba, and commends the effective action of EUFOR R.D.Congo in support of MONUC.

“The Security Council shares the serious concern expressed by the International Committee in Support of the Transition (CIAT), in its statement of 11 September 2006, regarding the unchecked circulation of weapons and armed individuals in Kinshasa. It endorses its call for a cantonment of the security forces of both candidates and of FARDC troops in the province of Kinshasa, and for a ban on the circulation of armed individuals in this province.

“The Security Council calls on all political parties and in particular President Kabila and Vice-President Bemba to restate their commitment to the peace process and to work within the framework they have agreed to establish with the facilitation of MONUC as a means of peacefully resolving political differences. It welcomes the meeting that took place between President Kabila and Vice President Bemba as a first step in this direction and encourages them to continue to seek a peaceful resolution of their differences.

“The Security Council recalls its support to the Independent Electoral Commission and to the High Media Authority. It urges all candidates and all parties in the DRC to banish any message that could incite hatred and violence and to comply with the codes of conduct that those institutions have respectively elaborated for the conduct of free, fair and transparent elections in a peaceful climate. It commends the role of the International Committee of Eminent Persons and reiterates its support for it. It emphasizes again the importance of respecting the electoral calendar.

“The Security Council invites the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1533 (2004) to examine the situation in Kinshasa, if appropriate, in the context of the arms embargo imposed by resolutions 1493 (2003) and 1596 (2005) and renewed by resolution 1698 (2006). It also expresses its readiness to consider possible measures against individuals and entities who would further threaten the conduct of free and fair elections, in particular through the use of “hate media”, preventing equal and responsible access to media, inciting violence and recourse to violence to prevent elections, dispute their outcome or subvert the peace process.

“The Security Council emphasises the need for all political parties to act responsibly within the framework of democratic institutions after the elections.

“The Security Council underscores to the Congolese parties the importance of preventing impunity for those responsible for violations of human rights and international humanitarian law that constitute crimes.”


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