Statement on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Statement by the Republic of Slovenia at the UN Security Council briefing on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Thank you Madam President,

I wish to thank Special Representative Keita for her briefing; I also wish to welcome the participation of the representatives of the DRC and Rwanda at today’s meeting.

Slovenia strongly condemns the recent attacks on the UN staff and facilities in Kinshasa, assault on a MONUSCO helicopter in North Kivu and on diplomatic missions and their personnel. We urge the Congolese authorities to conduct comprehensive investigations into these violent acts and ensure that those responsible are held accountable.

The escalating violence, particularly in the East, threatens not only the stability of the DRC, but also the peace and security of the wider Great Lakes region. We note with concern the rising tensions between the DRC and Rwanda and call on both countries to exercise maximum restraint in their actions and seek a resolution through peaceful means. 

Let me emphasize the following:

Violence must end.  We call on all parties involved in the conflict to cease hostilities immediately, to respect and uphold International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law and to enable safe and unimpeded access of humanitarian aid to reach those in dire need. The conflict is causing widespread displacement and exacerbating hunger and malnutrition at alarming rates.

We strongly denounce the recent increase and aggression by armed groups in North Kivu, especially M23, intensifying instability in the region and beyond.  Immediate and full withdrawal of armed groups, including M23, from occupied areas is imperative. The sovereignty and territorial integrity of the DRC must be respected.

Madam President,  

We firmly believe that military actions cannot and will not bring an end to the conflict. We underscore the urgency of a renewed commitment to a political and diplomatic resolution in the Eastern DRC and the region.

Regional cooperation, facilitated by frameworks like the Peace, Security, and Cooperation Framework and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, remains key. Significance of regional engagements, the effectiveness of the Luanda and Nairobi processes, among others, hinges on establishing a genuine dialogue.

Lastly, the recent surge of hostilities and the withdrawal of MONUSCO demand careful attention. Ensuring that the withdrawal is executed in a manner that is safe, orderly, responsible, gradual, and sustainable is paramount. The withdrawal must not lead to a security vacuum that could exacerbate already dire situation and cause further instability.

Recent attacks on MONUSCO have only confirmed how critical it is to address the widespread campaign of misinformation and disinformation. We call on all relevant authorities to counter actively these campaigns against the mission.

Madam President, 

The complexity of the conflict in DRC makes the path to peace challenging, yet crucial for restoring stability in the country and the region. Slovenia remains committed to the peace, security, and stability of the DRC and the Great Lakes region.

I thank you.

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