Situation in the DRC (March 1st, 2013)
Are you concerned at the renewed fighting in the eastern part of the DRC?
We strongly deplore the loss of life during the recent fighting in the DRC. Indeed, 36 people, including 10 civilians, were apparently killed on this occasion according to the most recent reports. The violence in the DRC must stop as a mater of urgency. It only makes the living conditions of the populations – who have already been hard hit – even more precarious. Everything possible must be done to stabilize the situation in the region.
The regional framework agreement signed on Sunday in Addis Ababa is an important step in this direction, which we welcomed. France reiterates the Security Council’s desire to ensure the swift appointment of a special envoy of the UN Secretary-General tasked with supporting, coordinating and evaluating the implementation of the framework agreement.
In addition, France is working, together with the UN Secretariat and all its partners, to strengthen MONUSCO in order to swiftly provide it with the means to contribute in a more incisive manner to ensuring the long-term stability of the eastern part of the DRC, notably through the establishment of a response unit.
What does the strengthening of MONUSCO involve in practice?
France favors strengthening MONUSCO’s capabilities, notably with respect to surveillance. This could notably include the provision, by the contributing states, of additional helicopters, and, for the first time within a peacekeeping operation, surveillance drones.
A response unit should also be established within MONUSCO. The battalions that would make up this unit would be provided by the countries of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region and the Southern African Development Community (which had initially proposed their deployment as part of a neutral international force). This unit, which will operate under the authority of the Secretary-General’s special representative and MONUSCO’s commander, should have a strong, clear mandate in order to allow MONUSCO to fulfill, in the best possible way, the stabilization mission entrusted to it by the Security Council.