Q – Survie, ACAT and other associations have called on President Macron to put an end to cooperation with the Congolese security services.
What is the status of cooperation between France and the DRC, with respect to the army, the Congolese police and the National Intelligence Agency? Is France still authorizing the delivery of lethal and non-lethal weapons to the DRC?
A – France is paying close attention to the situation in the DRC, and renews its appeal for the effective holding of elections in accordance with the electoral calendar published on November 5, 2017, with due respect for the Congolese constitution and the spirit of consensus that prevailed during the signing of the political agreement of December 31, 2016.
With respect to the human rights situation in particular, France has repeatedly expressed its concern by condemning the violence perpetrated by the security forces, by calling on the Congolese authorities to shed full light on this violence and to use force proportionally when maintaining law and order.
France’s security and defense cooperation in the DRC has decreased over the last few years and has been adapted to the changing internal situation. It has been refocused on assistance for training Congolese army officers, independently of any operational activity. With respect to internal security, there are no French volunteer workers (coopérants) involved in activities closely or remotely connected with law enforcement.
France maintains strict control over arms exports. Export licenses are issued under the authority of the prime minister following consultation with the Interministerial Commission for the Study of War Materials Exports (Commission interministérielle pour l’étude des exportations de matériels de guerre). Licenses are issued in strict compliance with France’s international obligations.
With respect to the DRC, France applies restrictive measures on the arms trade imposed by the UN Security Council and the EU. For all exports of war material not covered by the scope of these measures, France adopts a restrictive approach by taking into consideration the criteria specified in the EU’s common position and the provisions of the arms trade treaty. France has not authorized the export of lethal or non-lethal war material to the DRC since November 2016.