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Congo (Kinshasa): Peace Process Update
Congo (Kinshasa): Peace Process Update
Date distributed (ymd): 011024
Document reposted by APIC
Africa Policy Electronic Distribution List: an information
service provided by AFRICA ACTION (incorporating the Africa
Policy Information Center, The Africa Fund, and the American
Committee on Africa). Find more information for action for
Africa at http://www.africapolicy.org
Region: Central Africa
Issue Areas: +political/rights+ +economy/development+
This posting contains excerpts from last week's report from UN
Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the peace process in the Democratic
Republic of the Congo. The full report is available at:
The meeting of the inter-Congolese dialogue mentioned in the report
was convened in Addis Ababa on October 15, but suspended after
several days when the Congolese government delegation left. Talks
will resume in South Africa at a date to be determined.
For more background on the inter-Congolese dialogue, see the
web site of the facilitator's office (
United Nations S/2001/970
16 October 2001
Ninth report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations
Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
... The present report ... describes developments since my report
(S/2001/572) of 8 June 2001.
II. Political developments
2. The overall situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
continues to develop in a largely positive direction. The ceasefire
has held and the disengagement of forces and their redeployment to
new defensive positions is effectively complete. Some foreign
forces have been withdrawn from the territory. The preparatory
meeting of the inter-Congolese dialogue, which is an essential
element of the peace process, was held successfully. At the same
time, outbreaks of fighting have continued, if not intensified, in
the east of the country. ...
5. During my meeting with President Kabila, on 2 September, I
welcomed the Government's continuing adherence to the ceasefire on
the confrontation line, but expressed grave disquiet over the
continuing fighting in the eastern Democratic Republic of the
Congo. The Government should use all its influence to bring the
fighting in the east to an end and open a dialogue with the
Government of Rwanda. In addition, it should cooperate with MONUC
in the preparations for the demobilization of the soldiers of
Rwandan origin located at Kamina. ...
6. I briefed the President on the Mission's plans for further
deployment in the east of the country and requested the cooperation
of his Government. During this visit, I conveyed the United Nations
views on how to approach the disarmament, demobilization and
repatriation of the armed groups. I also indicated that the
positive response of the international community rested in part on
continuing improvements in the human rights situation in the
Democratic Republic of the Congo. Finally, I expressed serious
concern about the humanitarian situation and requested the
Government to help improve access to populations in need.
7. On 3 September, I met with representatives of civil society and
with the leadership of the Rassemblement congolais pour la
démocratie (RCD) in Kisangani. At my meeting with the RCD
leadership, I insisted on the earliest possible demilitarization of
the town in accordance with Security Council resolution 1304
(2000). I also stressed that the further deployment of MONUC would
require the full cooperation of RCD ... The RCD leaders present
indicated their agreement in principle with this approach.
8. On 4 September, I met with the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame,
in Kigali and conveyed to him my views on how to move the peace
process forward. In particular, Rwanda should use its influence to
halt the fighting in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
It should also commence a process of reducing its military presence
in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in accordance with
Security Council resolutions, and maintain a dialogue with that
country, that would include confidence-building measures. I also
conveyed to President Kagame my views on how to approach the
disarmament, demobilization and repatriation of the armed groups.
President Kagame expressed his Government"s willingness to take
back the Rwandan former combatants now in eastern Democratic
Republic of the Congo. The President reiterated, however, that
those suspected of crimes against humanity would be subject to the
jurisdiction of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
9. The preparatory meeting for the inter-Congolese dialogue was
held at Gaborone from 20 to 24 August, in a spirit of conciliation
and compromise. Some 70 delegates participated, representing the
Government, the Mouvement pour la liberation du Congo (MLC), RCDGoma,
RCD-ML, the political opposition in Government-controlled
areas and civil society. The meeting adopted a draft agenda for the
national dialogue, its draft rules of procedure, and decided that
the dialogue would start on 15 October in Addis Ababa. ...
13. The facilitator has confirmed that the inter-Congolese dialogue
will begin on 15 October. After consultation with the Congolese
parties, it was initially envisaged that the dialogue would gather
more than 300 participants. However, because funds pledged by
donors had not yet been made available, he decided, following
consultations with the Congolese parties, to revert to the Gaborone
formula by calling for a reduced meeting of some 70 participants.
Such a meeting would address several outstanding political and
procedural issues. The facilitator intends to convene the plenary
meeting of the dialogue once sufficient funds are available.
III. Military and security developments
20. The ceasefire along the confrontation line has held since
January 2001, and the armed forces of the parties have separated
and redeployed, apart from a few minor exceptions, to new defensive
21. Despite the calm along the front line, however, and the absence
of ceasefire violations within the disengagement zone throughout
the period under review, the situation in the east remains highly
volatile. The number of alleged ceasefire violations there has
risen significantly ...
Status of deployment of the Mission
26. As at 15 October, MONUC had a total of 2,408 military personnel
including 540 staff officers and military observers as well as
1,868 infantry personnel ...
Withdrawal of foreign forces
30. The Ugandan People"s Defence Force (UPDF) has largely withdrawn
from the Equateur Province, leaving behind some elements in Lisala.
However, UPDF has declared that it will maintain one battalion in
Buta and two in the Ruwenzori Mountains in the eastern Democratic
Republic of the Congo, until a peace agreement is reached. They are
also leaving a small force of around two companies in Gbadolite.
The Namibian authorities indicated that they have already withdrawn
their troops except for a small element still in Kinshasa and
another stuck at Kamina because of logistical difficulties. The
Zimbabwean Defence Force has declared the withdrawal of three
battalions from Equateur Province and the eastern part of the
country, but MONUC has yet to confirm this withdrawal. There have
been no withdrawals by RPA. On 2 October, the Minister of Defence
of Angola stated that his country was ready to leave the Democratic
Republic of the Congo. ...
IV. Humanitarian aspects
41. The humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of the
Congo continues to be very grave, which underlines the urgency of
efforts to restore peace to the country. A recent study by the
World Health Organization and the United Nations Children"s Fund
revealed that the vast majority of the population of 50 million
people live on the equivalent of US$ 0.20 per person per day, and
consume less than two thirds of the daily calories needed to
maintain good health. Approximately 70 per cent of the population
has little or no access to health care. The World Food Programme
has estimated that 16 million Congolese have critical food needs.
At the same time, humanitarian agencies have access to less than
half of the estimated 2,041,000 displaced people in the country.
V. Human rights Government-controlled territory
45. The Government has made some progress in establishing human
rights laws and standards. Some non-judicial detention centres
notorious for torture and extrajudicial killings have been closed,
and there is a growing awareness on the part of the authorities of
the need for democratic decision-making, good governance and
respect for the rule of law.
46. Human rights abuses continue, however. Despite the adoption of
a law liberalizing political activities, registered political
parties were prevented from conducting political activities on the
grounds that they lacked the necessary prerequisites for approval.
Moreover, human rights activists and journalists are being held in
detention for speaking out on political issues. ...
Territory controlled by the Front de liberation du Congo
49. The human rights situation in FLC-controlled territory
continues to deteriorate. Clashes between armed groups have
intensified, and the wave of refugees from the Central African
Republic into Equateur Province, many with arms, has contributed to
the concern about human rights. ...
Territory controlled by the Rassemblement congolais pour la
51. In the eastern provinces, reports have been received that RCD
authorities continue to intimidate and harass human rights
activists and to make arbitrary arrests. The media are still
restricted, and the property of the media is confiscated. ...
52. In North and South Kivu Provinces, the MayiMayi, Interahamwe
and the Banyamulenge security forces have reportedly conducted a
reign of terror and brutal repression, as well as massacres against
sympathizers or even persons suspected of sympathizing with
53. In general, refugee and internally displaced women are often
preyed upon by armed elements and have been the victims of torture,
sexual and other abuse and ethnically motivated killings. Rape has
been used as a weapon of war. The situation is particularly dire in
the eastern provinces. ...
VIII. Next steps Disarmament, demobilization, repatriation,
resettlement and reintegration
59. MONUC has nearly completed the second phase of its deployment
in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and is now faced with the
challenges of the third phase. The main tasks to be accomplished by
the parties and requiring the assistance of MONUC during that phase
include the total withdrawal of all foreign forces from the
territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the
disarmament and demobilization of the armed groups. It will also be
necessary to find durable solutions to the problem of the armed
groups, including the repatriation, resettlement and reintegration
of ex-combatants into society.
60. ... The objective of the disarmament, demobilization,
repatriation, resettlement and reintegration programme is therefore
to create an environment, especially in the eastern Democratic
Republic of the Congo, which will encourage the combatants and
their families to take a step towards a better life without
62. In addition to an environment conducive to a successful
disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, resettlement and
reintegration programme, it would be important for the Democratic
Republic of the Congo and Rwanda to continue their dialogue, which
should lead to a firm political understanding on the disarmament to
reintegration process and the establishment of a joint coordination
mechanism. Such a mechanism would serve as a useful partner for the
international community and enable it to support the process
through practical assistance and funding. ...
63. The objective would be to repatriate Rwandan former combatants
to Rwanda as soon as possible after they are disarmed, rather than
accommodating them for long periods in camps on Congolese
territory. Screening of ex-combatants would largely be organized by
the host country with the support of the United Nations. In this
regard, it must be borne in mind that some members of the ex-FAR
and Interahamwe took part in the Rwandan genocide of 1994. At the
same time, however, a majority of armed group members in the east
are not wanted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda,
and many may be seeking ways of returning home to resume their
lives in peace. ...
65. In preparing for activities relating to the disarmament to
reintegration process, it must be recalled that the armed groups
operating in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo did not
sign the Lusaka Agreement and continue to take part in armed
hostilities. Relatively few details are known about their
activities and intentions. MONUC has had almost no contact with
their leaders. It will be necessary to continue to gather as much
information about them as possible as deployment proceeds. I expect
the parties to assist MONUC in the gathering of such information.
66. ...there are also [other] armed groups operating in the eastern
Democratic Republic of the Congo for whom political solutions need
to be found as early as possible. Such groups include the
Mayi-Mayi, ethnicbased Congolese militias and Burundian rebels.
Role of the United Nations
67. It is currently envisaged that the main role of MONUC in phase
III would be to establish temporary reception centres where
combatants could surrender their weapons, to be destroyed by MONUC
in situ. The disarmed combatants would then undergo the first
stages of demobilization. MONUC anticipates that many combatants
will be accompanied by their dependants. It is therefore important
that arrangements be made, in close coordination with United
Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations, to meet the
immediate needs of the women and children accompanying the
73. The United Nations is determined to do what it can to maintain
the momentum in the peace process, including further deployments of
MONUC into the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The overall
security situation in the eastern part of the country and the
logistical constraints of deploying them are such that MONUC has no
choice but to adopt a step-by-step approach. ...
74. The Mission"s initial objective in phase III would be to
establish a mixed civilian and military presence, as well as a
forward support base, in the eastern Democratic Republic of the
Congo. This would probably contribute, as it has in other areas
where MONUC has deployed, to a sense of security among the
population and to a progressive resumption of economic and social
activity in that part of the country. ...
75. The proposed operational and logistics base would be
established at Kindu, which is located at the western fringe of an
area characterized by many of the military, security, political and
humanitarian and human rights problems that MONUC is likely to be
confronted with in phase III. ...
77. Once MONUC has commenced operations at Kindu and in surrounding
areas, it would be able, subject to the full cooperation of the
parties, to assist in the disarmament and demobilization of the
armed groups. ...
IX. Financial aspects
88. The General Assembly, by its resolution 55/ 275 of 14 June
2001, appropriated an initial amount of $200 million for the
maintenance of the Mission for the period from 1 July to 31
December 2001 pending submission of my proposed budget for the
Mission for the full 12-month financial period ending 30 June 2002.
90. Since its establishment in October 1999, the Trust Fund to
support the peace process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
has received voluntary contributions amounting to $1.1 million,
with expenditures authorized to date in the amount of $0.4 million.
91. As at 30 September 2001, unpaid assessed contributions to the
MONUC special account amounted to $246.9 million. The total
outstanding assessed contributions for all peacekeeping operations
at that date amounted to $3,291.9 million.
92. Despite difficulties, the overall situation in the Democratic
Republic of the Congo continues to be favourable. The ceasefire
along the confrontation line has held since January. The
disengagement of forces and their redeployment to new defensive
positions is almost complete, and some foreign forces have been
withdrawn from the country.
93. The dangerous and persistent outbreaks of fighting in the east
are very disturbing, however. During my visit to the region in
September, I urged Presidents Kabila and Kagame to exert all their
influence to bring the fighting to an end. Although much of the
fighting in the east is attributed to armed groups, I strongly
believe that much more can and should be done by the signatories of
the Lusaka Agreement to stop it. Any military and logistical
support provided to those armed groups should cease without delay.
94. At the same time, I welcome the withdrawal of Namibian and many
of the Ugandan troops from the territory of the Democratic Republic
of the Congo. ... I also urge Rwanda and other Governments
concerned to accelerate their preparations to withdraw their
troops, in accordance with Security Council resolution 1304 (2000).
95. The Government of Rwanda has declared that it is prepared to
reinsert Rwandan former combatants into society in their own
country. This would make a significant contribution to the process
of healing the deep wounds caused by the genocide seven years ago.
The United Nations stands ready to assist in this process.
96. I commend the neutral facilitator of the interCongolese
dialogue and his team for the remarkable success of the preparatory
meeting held at Gaborone from 20 to 24 August. I earnestly hope
that the formal commencement of the dialogue in Addis Ababa will
enable the Congolese parties, including political parties and civil
society, to address the key questions that need to be answered as
they contemplate a return to peace: national reconciliation, the
nature of governance in their country, relations with their
neighbours to the east and to the south, and relations between
different communities within the Democratic Republic of the Congo
itself. I trust that the parties concerned will ensure an adequate
representation of Congolese women in the dialogue.
97. The most important tasks, however, still lie ahead. The
Congolese parties must demonstrate their continuing commitment to
the dialogue and cooperate fully with the facilitator and his team.
At the same time, the support and assistance of the international
community will continue to be needed. ...
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