France condemns in the strongest terms the many atrocities committed by the armed groups mentioned in the latest report by the United Nations Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), published today. It once again expresses its solidarity with the civilian populations who have been the victims of those atrocities.
The numerous violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed by, among others, M23, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), the Cooperative for the Development of the Congo (CODECO), the Mai-Mai, the Twirwaneho and the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), cannot go unpunished. France calls on the perpetrators of these crimes to be brought to justice. It welcomes the International Criminal Court Prosecutor’s decision to examine the offences committed in North Kivu in response to a request by the DRC authorities.
France is worried about information confirming M23’s ongoing presence in the eastern regions of the DRC, Rwanda’s continued military support for that armed group, and the presence of Rwandan soldiers on Congolese territory. This support, which we condemn, must stop. In this regard, France reiterates its firm commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Moreover, the support provided by the Congolese armed forces to certain armed groups such as the FDLR, as the report confirms and which we condemn, must also end.
As President Macron said in Kinshasa on 4 March, we support efforts aimed at de-escalation and peace, particularly those conducted in the framework of the Nairobi and Luanda regional processes, which enabled a ceasefire to be concluded on 7 March 2023. The commitments made by the various regional players must now be translated into action to speed up M23’s withdrawal from the occupied territories, confine the group and encourage all armed groups to commit to the national demobilization and disarmament process. Where necessary, sanctions will have to be imposed on those hindering peace and committing atrocities.