The conflict in eastern DRC: All hostilities must cease

In the morning, the Security Council held a briefing on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including the work of MONUSCO, the UN Stabilization Mission in the DRC. Slovenia condemned the violence against civilians and called for an immediate cessation of hostilities.

The focus of today’s briefing was the deteriorating security situation in eastern DRC. As stated by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the DRC and Head of MONUSCO Bintou Keita at the meeting, the deteriorating security situation in eastern DRC “has culminated in an even more disastrous humanitarian situation, with internal displacement reaching unparalleled numbers.” M23 has made significant advances and expanding its territory to unprecedented levels. The escalation of violence is alarming and is adding to destabilization in the wider Great Lakes region.

At the meeting, Slovenia highlighted three main points. First, Slovenia condemned the M23 offensive in North Kivu province and called for an immediate cessation of all hostilities. We renewed our call for a political solution to this crisis with Nairobi and Luanda processes being in the center to these efforts. “We call for enhanced commitment to regional diplomatic efforts, emphasizing the importance of dialogue between countries in the region,” stressed Ambassador Samuel Žbogar.

Slovenia also called on all countries in the region to respect the DRC’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Second, we underscored that MONUSCO withdrawal must be conducted in a safe, orderly and gradual manner. “Synchronizing the deployment of the Congolese national security forces with MONUSCO’s withdrawal is critical to ensure a seamless transition,” added the Ambassador while stressing the responsibility to protect civilians, especially women and children.

Third, Slovenia condemned violence against civilians and emphasized the importance of full respect of international humanitarian and human rights law. “We are alarmed by continued reports of high rates of gender-based violence and conflict-related sexual violence and strongly condemn the recruitment of children and other grave violations committed against them,” concluded Ambassador Žbogar.

Slovenia remains committed to supporting efforts to end this ongoing conflict and to ensuring peace and stability in the DRC and the wider region.

Read the full statement here.

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