Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative Anna Evstigneeva at UNSC briefing on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

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June 26, 2023


We thank ASG Pobee for the briefing. We note the participation of Permanent Representatives of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda in this meeting.

We would like to begin by extending our condolences to the DR Congo and the families of those killed by the floods and landslides in May this year. We wish speedy recovery to the injured.

Now to the situation in the country. We note that the level of security threats in eastern DRC remains high. The worst challenges are the protracted confrontation of the governmental forces and M23 in North Kivu, tension in the relations between Kinshasa and Kigali, as well as the activities of the Islamist group “Allied Democratic Forces” that resorts to terrorist methods ever more frequently these days. We strongly condemn the attack of the ADF on a school in Uganda on 16 June. 43 people, most of whom were schoolchildren, fell victim to this obnoxious act of terror that clearly proved again that security and stability in eastern DRC is in the interests of all countries of all states of the Great Lakes Region (GLR). We extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased and the government of Uganda. We hope the perpetrators of this heinous crime will be identified and held accountable.

We are concerned about other armed groups that are active in the DRC, including CODECO, RED-Tabara, Mai-Mai, and Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, who are not going to abandon violent methods, continue to strengthen their positions in eastern areas of the country, keep pillaging the natural resources and tormenting the civilian population.

Another cause for concern is the worsening humanitarian crisis that comes along with the armed conflict, the growing number of IDPs and refugees, violations of human rights, and daily sufferings of the civilians. The statistic is quite self-explanatory, but behind those figures are real stories of concrete persons.

We are convinced that efforts of regional states within the framework of the Nairobi and Luanda processes are crucial. We welcome that Southern African Development Community has joined the settlement process following the decision of the SADC summit in Windhoek on 8 May 2023. We believe it is important to continue conjugating the complementary efforts and initiatives aimed at providing regional-level support. The priority task is to ensure a cessation of hostilities and start a comprehensive inclusive dialogue.

It is critical to keep working to implement fully the 2013 Peace, Security, and Cooperation Framework for the eastern areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Great Lakes Region. We welcome the commitment of the African Union and regional states to revitalizing this document. We support the activities of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region, Mr. Huang Xia, aimed at establishing an inter-state dialogue with the purpose of mitigating tension in the region.

It is obvious that military measures alone cannot result in a lasting normalization in eastern DRC and the GLR. Only political solutions will provide for a comprehensive cessation of hostilities and create real conditions for a lasting stabilization.

We support efforts of MONUSCO and its leadership and are firmly convinced that presence of the Mission in the conflict zone remains an important stabilizing factor. In order to work more effectively to protect the Congolese population, the DRC armed forces, MONUSCO, and other regional and national forces on the ground need to enhance coordination of their steps. We expect that by July this year, in accordance with UNSC resolution 2666, Secretary-General will provide proposals on possible ways to reconfigure the Mission in light of the continuing engagement with Kinshasa in order to revisit the plan for a phased withdrawal of Blue Helmets from the country. As for implementing this plan, we think it is necessary to proceed from the developments on the ground, act in a responsible step-by-step manner. This being said, we would like to underscore that responsibility for the future of the country rests with the Congolese themselves and that their key task is to build such a security sector that would be able to stay in control and maintain order throughout the country.

In this regard, we support the decision of the Security Council related to the lifting of DRC’s arms embargo. The Russian position on this matter remains unchanged with regard to both the DR Congo and other such situations.  UNSC sanctions must always be reflective of the real state of affairs in a country and be conducive to stabilization. On no occasion should they create obstacles for national security forces. Restrictions must undergo regular review and modification until the moment they are lifted completely. Adding illegitimate unilateral measures to Security Council’s sanctions regimes is unacceptable.


In conclusion, we would like to welcome the ongoing work of the DRC government to prepare for general elections in December this year and wish every success with organizing the vote.

On our part, we reiterate readiness to contribute to stabilization in eastern DRC and GLR by promoting dialogue and constructive cooperation among regional states. We look forward to interacting closely with relevant institutions and representatives of the UN system.

Thank you.

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