RAPAPORT… The United Nations (UN) Security Council reiterated its demand to the M23 and all other rebel groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to end, once and for all, “all forms of violence and lay down their arms” immediately, amid renewed fighting in the eastern region.
The Council called upon the M23 and the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), among other rebel groups, to “immediately and permanently disband” and stated that it was ready to adopt targeted sanctions against those acting in violation of the sanctions regime and the arms embargo.
The M23 has repeated attacks against DRC’s civilians and UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the country (MONUSCO), which have resulted in the death of several people, including a Tanzanian peacekeeper, and numerous injuries this week.
The 15-member UN body also expressed concerns at reports of repeated mortar shells and bombs from DRC territory landing in neighboring Rwanda and it called for a thorough investigation into the sources of these attacks by the Expanded Joint Verification Mechanism (EJVM).
The Council praised the active steps taken by MONUSCO to implement its mandate, which is to protect civilians and encouraged the continuation of these efforts. They also welcomed the order by the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in the country, Martin Kobler, to take all necessary actions to protect civilians and emphasized that any effort to undermine MONUSCO’s ability to implement its mandate will not be tolerated.
In March, the Council authorized the deployment of an intervention brigade within MONUSCO to carry out targeted offensive operations — with or without the DRC’s military, FARDC — against armed groups that threaten peace in eastern region. The brigade is tasked with neutralizing armed groups, reducing the threat posed to state authority and civilian security and make space for stabilization activities.