Secretary-General Concerned by Resumed Hostilities in Democratic Republic of Congo

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:

The Secretary-General is deeply concerned by the resumption of hostilities, since 20 October, between the Congolese armed forces (FARDC) and the 23 March Movement (M23), which resulted in civilian casualties, massive displacement and the injury of four peacekeepers from the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).

In this context, the Secretary-General spoke with the President of Angola, João Lourenço, the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Félix Tshisekedi, the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, the President of Kenya, William Ruto, and the President of Senegal, Macky Sall, in his capacity as Chairperson of the African Union.  The Secretary-General called for immediate de-escalation and reiterated the full support of the United Nations for the ongoing mediation by President Lourenço, and for the Nairobi process under the facilitation of the former President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta.

The Secretary-General urges M23 and other armed groups to immediately cease hostilities and to disarm unconditionally.  He calls for the respect of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  The Secretary-General calls on all parties to facilitate humanitarian access to the affected population, and to ensure protection of civilians and respect for international humanitarian law.  He also calls on all actors to refrain from hate speech and incitement to violence.

The Secretary-General reaffirms that the United Nations, through his Special Representative in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and MONUSCO, will continue to support the Congolese Government and people in their efforts to bring about peace and stability in the east of the country.

For information media. Not an official record.