Showing posts tagged as "UN Security Council"

Showing posts tagged UN Security Council

5 Feb
Yemen: A rare ‘success’ ‘at risk | BBC
By Barbara Plett
As turmoil seeped across Arab borders in 2011, the UN Security Council threw its weight behind a political transition plan for a nation roiled by protests and violence, stopping the drift towards civil war and leading to the resignation of the authoritarian leader.
No, this is not a fantasy about what might have been for Syria. It is the reality of what happened in Yemen.
And it is the reason council members see Yemen as a rare success story in their track record on the Arab uprisings, last week making it the destination of their first visit to the Middle East in five years.
FULL ARTICLE (BBC)
Photo: USAID/Flickr

Yemen: A rare ‘success’ ‘at risk | BBC

By Barbara Plett

As turmoil seeped across Arab borders in 2011, the UN Security Council threw its weight behind a political transition plan for a nation roiled by protests and violence, stopping the drift towards civil war and leading to the resignation of the authoritarian leader.

No, this is not a fantasy about what might have been for Syria. It is the reality of what happened in Yemen.

And it is the reason council members see Yemen as a rare success story in their track record on the Arab uprisings, last week making it the destination of their first visit to the Middle East in five years.

FULL ARTICLE (BBC)

Photo: USAID/Flickr

20 Oct
Lustig’s Letter 
By Robin Lustig 
Is Nigeria about to invade Mali? Sorry, let me rephrase that: is a UN-backed regional intervention force about to restore order in Mali?
In fact, the two questions amount to the same thing, following a resolution passed by the UN security council last week that could well pave the way for military intervention in a country that’s rapidly becoming one of the world’s most troubling security hot-spots.
FULL POST (Lustig’s Letter)
Photo: EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection/Flickr

Lustig’s Letter 

By Robin Lustig 

Is Nigeria about to invade Mali? Sorry, let me rephrase that: is a UN-backed regional intervention force about to restore order in Mali?

In fact, the two questions amount to the same thing, following a resolution passed by the UN security council last week that could well pave the way for military intervention in a country that’s rapidly becoming one of the world’s most troubling security hot-spots.

FULL POST (Lustig’s Letter)

Photo: EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection/Flickr

18 Oct
New U.N. Charges Linking Rwanda to DRC Rebel Group Heat Up Regional Tensions | World Politics Review 
By Brian Dabbs 
KAMPALA, Uganda — Following months of heated exchanges between international observers and Rwandan officials, a United Nations investigative body leveled its most detailed and controversial accusations over alleged Rwandan support for the Congolese M23 rebels in a 44-page report leaked late Tuesday. 
The document claims that Rwandan Defense Minister Gen. James Kabarebe exercises direct command over the rebel group. Formerly integrated into the Congolese army, M23 launched a mutiny in April, carving a significant swathe of territory out of the volatile, crisis-prone eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo ever since.
FULL ARTICLE (World Politics Review)
Photo: Al Jazeera English/Flickr

New U.N. Charges Linking Rwanda to DRC Rebel Group Heat Up Regional Tensions | World Politics Review 

By Brian Dabbs 

KAMPALA, Uganda — Following months of heated exchanges between international observers and Rwandan officials, a United Nations investigative body leveled its most detailed and controversial accusations over alleged Rwandan support for the Congolese M23 rebels in a 44-page report leaked late Tuesday. 

The document claims that Rwandan Defense Minister Gen. James Kabarebe exercises direct command over the rebel group. Formerly integrated into the Congolese army, M23 launched a mutiny in April, carving a significant swathe of territory out of the volatile, crisis-prone eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo ever since.

FULL ARTICLE (World Politics Review)

Photo: Al Jazeera English/Flickr

Congo demands sanctions on Rwanda, Uganda over rebels | Reuters 
By Jonny Hogg
(Reuters) - Democratic Republic of Congo on Wednesday demanded targeted sanctions against Rwandan and Ugandan officials accused by a U.N. experts panel of backing a six-month-old insurgency in its volatile eastern borderlands.
The U.N. Security Council’s Group of Experts said in a confidential report seen by Reuters that both Rwanda and Uganda were supporting the M23 rebels, who are expanding their control of parts of Congo’s mineral-rich North Kivu province, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes.
FULL ARTICLE (Reuters)
Photo: United Nations/Flickr 

Congo demands sanctions on Rwanda, Uganda over rebels | Reuters 

By Jonny Hogg

(Reuters) - Democratic Republic of Congo on Wednesday demanded targeted sanctions against Rwandan and Ugandan officials accused by a U.N. experts panel of backing a six-month-old insurgency in its volatile eastern borderlands.

The U.N. Security Council’s Group of Experts said in a confidential report seen by Reuters that both Rwanda and Uganda were supporting the M23 rebels, who are expanding their control of parts of Congo’s mineral-rich North Kivu province, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes.

FULL ARTICLE (Reuters)

Photo: United Nations/Flickr 

2 Aug
Inside the administration’s ‘new’ approach on Syria  |  Foreign Policy
By Josh Rogin   
The Obama administration very publicly signaled a shift in its approach to dealing with the Syria crisis after negotiations broke down at the United Nations in mid-July.
But the actual details of that shift are still being debated internally and the administration’s rhetoric has gotten out ahead of its policy, according to officials, experts, and lawmakers.
FULL ARTICLE (Foreign Policy)
Photo: Freedom House/Flickr

Inside the administration’s ‘new’ approach on Syria  |  Foreign Policy

By Josh Rogin   

The Obama administration very publicly signaled a shift in its approach to dealing with the Syria crisis after negotiations broke down at the United Nations in mid-July.

But the actual details of that shift are still being debated internally and the administration’s rhetoric has gotten out ahead of its policy, according to officials, experts, and lawmakers.

FULL ARTICLE (Foreign Policy)

Photo: Freedom House/Flickr

21 Jul
U.S. urges Mali to accept African force  |  REUTERS
(Reuters) - The United States has called on Mali’s authorities to accept offers by African states to send a military force to stabilize the country and help retake control of its vast northern desert, now in the hands of al Qaeda-linked Islamists.
FULL ARTICLE (REUTERS)
Photo: Member of NOAA/Wikimedia Commons

U.S. urges Mali to accept African force  |  REUTERS

(Reuters) - The United States has called on Mali’s authorities to accept offers by African states to send a military force to stabilize the country and help retake control of its vast northern desert, now in the hands of al Qaeda-linked Islamists.

FULL ARTICLE (REUTERS)

Photo: Member of NOAA/Wikimedia Commons

27 Jun
Rwanda regrets U.N. decision to publish Congo report | Reuters
By Jonny Hogg
Rwanda said on Wednesday that it was ‘deeply regrettable’ that the UN Security Council has decided to publish a document alleging Rwanda was backing armed groups in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.
Rwanda’s Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo said in a statement that the government would provide factual evidence to show that the charges of Rwandan involvement are false and that the document was biased.
"This is a one-sided preliminary document based on partial findings and is still subject to verification."
The evidence contained in an addendum to a recent report by U.N. experts is the strongest yet to indicate high-level support within President Paul Kagame’s government for the so-called M23 rebellion, whose stand-off with Congolese forces has caused hundreds of thousands to flee their homes in eastern Congo.
FULL ARTICLE (REUTERS)
Photo: World Economic Forum/ Eric Miller

Rwanda regrets U.N. decision to publish Congo report | Reuters

By Jonny Hogg

Rwanda said on Wednesday that it was ‘deeply regrettable’ that the UN Security Council has decided to publish a document alleging Rwanda was backing armed groups in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.

Rwanda’s Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo said in a statement that the government would provide factual evidence to show that the charges of Rwandan involvement are false and that the document was biased.

"This is a one-sided preliminary document based on partial findings and is still subject to verification."

The evidence contained in an addendum to a recent report by U.N. experts is the strongest yet to indicate high-level support within President Paul Kagame’s government for the so-called M23 rebellion, whose stand-off with Congolese forces has caused hundreds of thousands to flee their homes in eastern Congo.

FULL ARTICLE (REUTERS)

Photo: World Economic Forum/ Eric Miller

19 Jun
Iran Nuclear Talks: Delusions on Both Sides of the Table | TIME
By Tony Karon
“Frank and far-reaching discussions” is diplo-speak for talks that are tense and rancorous. So when Michael Mann, spokesman for the leader of the Western delegation in Moscow for talks with Iran, called Monday’s session a “tough and intense exchange of views,” he left no doubt that the negotiations may be in serious trouble. That ought to surprise no one, because the expectations of the two sides are so far apart that prospects for a breakthrough remain remote.
Western powers are focused on getting Iran to stop enriching uranium to 20% purity, a rate that is closer to weapons grade than the 3.5% enrichment needed for reactor fuel. In exchange, Western powers offer 20% fuel plates for a medical-research reactor, help with nuclear safety and access to embargoed airliner parts. Iran rejected that proposal at the previous talks in Baghdad and again in Moscow, making clear that its basic demands were for an easing of sanctions and Western recognition of Iran’s right to 3.5% enrichment. And in exchange for these concessions, which Western powers are unwilling to offer at this stage, Iran reportedly offered simply to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s efforts to investigate Iran’s previous nuclear work. Iranian sources close to the regime have previously indicated that Iran might be willing to freeze 20% enrichment, but only at a price of easing sanctions and recognition of its “nuclear rights.” With both sides apparently playing hardball, prospects for bridging the chasm between those positions remain slim because each side believes the other has more to lose if the talks collapse. The best efforts of the Russian hosts may be required to forge agreement simply to keep talks going.
FULL ARTICLE (TIME)
Photo: Sergei Karpukhin/ Reuters

Iran Nuclear Talks: Delusions on Both Sides of the Table | TIME

By Tony Karon

“Frank and far-reaching discussions” is diplo-speak for talks that are tense and rancorous. So when Michael Mann, spokesman for the leader of the Western delegation in Moscow for talks with Iran, called Monday’s session a “tough and intense exchange of views,” he left no doubt that the negotiations may be in serious trouble. That ought to surprise no one, because the expectations of the two sides are so far apart that prospects for a breakthrough remain remote.

Western powers are focused on getting Iran to stop enriching uranium to 20% purity, a rate that is closer to weapons grade than the 3.5% enrichment needed for reactor fuel. In exchange, Western powers offer 20% fuel plates for a medical-research reactor, help with nuclear safety and access to embargoed airliner parts. Iran rejected that proposal at the previous talks in Baghdad and again in Moscow, making clear that its basic demands were for an easing of sanctions and Western recognition of Iran’s right to 3.5% enrichment. And in exchange for these concessions, which Western powers are unwilling to offer at this stage, Iran reportedly offered simply to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s efforts to investigate Iran’s previous nuclear work. Iranian sources close to the regime have previously indicated that Iran might be willing to freeze 20% enrichment, but only at a price of easing sanctions and recognition of its “nuclear rights.” With both sides apparently playing hardball, prospects for bridging the chasm between those positions remain slim because each side believes the other has more to lose if the talks collapse. The best efforts of the Russian hosts may be required to forge agreement simply to keep talks going.

FULL ARTICLE (TIME)

Photo: Sergei Karpukhin/ Reuters

How the Security Council Can Support the Protection of Civilians in DRC | UN Dispatch
By Carol Jean Gallo
The United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, MONUSCO, has a lot to deal with on a good day. MONUSCO trains the Congolese army on human rights and sexual violence prevention, works with the national “DDR” commission on the demobilization of child soldiers, deactivates mines and provides assistance for victims of mines, helps public officials address electoral disputes from the recent election, and much more.
Earlier this year, an army mutiny led to the formation of the M23 rebellion in the east. This complicates MONUSCO’s work with the Congolese and the Ugandan armies on conducting operations against the ADF-NALU and the LRA, two Ugandan rebel movements with a destabilizing presence in eastern Congo. The mutiny also poses a challenge to the disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, resettlement, and reintegration (DDRRR) of foreign armed groups, also in the east; the ADF, LRA, FNL, and FDLR.
FULL ARTICLE (UN Dispatch)
Photo: Julien Harneis

How the Security Council Can Support the Protection of Civilians in DRC | UN Dispatch

By Carol Jean Gallo

The United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, MONUSCO, has a lot to deal with on a good day. MONUSCO trains the Congolese army on human rights and sexual violence prevention, works with the national “DDR” commission on the demobilization of child soldiers, deactivates mines and provides assistance for victims of mines, helps public officials address electoral disputes from the recent election, and much more.

Earlier this year, an army mutiny led to the formation of the M23 rebellion in the east. This complicates MONUSCO’s work with the Congolese and the Ugandan armies on conducting operations against the ADF-NALU and the LRA, two Ugandan rebel movements with a destabilizing presence in eastern Congo. The mutiny also poses a challenge to the disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, resettlement, and reintegration (DDRRR) of foreign armed groups, also in the east; the ADF, LRA, FNL, and FDLR.

FULL ARTICLE (UN Dispatch)

Photo: Julien Harneis

11 Jun
Open Letter to the United Nations Security Council on the Situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Brussels  |   11 Jun 2012
Excellency, 
History is again repeating itself in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). There is a risk of serious escalation of violence and the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Congo (MONUSCO) is failing in its core mandate of stabilisation and protection of civilians. This month’s renewal of MONUSCO presents a vital opportunity for the Security Council to review its strategy in the DRC. 
Eastern Congo is again rapidly destabilising with the defection of Bosco Ntaganda from the Congolese army and the formation of the M23 Movement, another Tutsi-led rebellion allegedly supported by Rwanda. The government, weakened by presidential and legislative elections last November that were widely recognised as deeply flawed, is seizing the opportunity to please the international community by at last pursuing the capture of Ntaganda. President Joseph Kabila seems to be gambling that this is an opportunity to break the parallel structures maintained by the Congrès national pour la défense du peuple’s (CNDP) within the army, and to remobilise domestic support around anti-Rwanda sentiment by pursuing a military defeat of the M23. In addition to the fragmentation of the army and new fighting between the Forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo (FARDC) and ex-CNDP elements, various Mai-Mai groups have expanded their reach and the Forces Democratiques de Liberation du Rwanda (FDLR) remains a persistent, if diminished threat, as the FARDC fails to control territory. 
The stabilisation strategy underpinned by MONUSCO was centred too heavily on an expectation that the 2008-2009 rapprochement between DRC and Rwanda was enough to contain the conflict in the Kivus. The bilateral agreement was based on President Kabila’s willingness to integrate Rwanda’s proxy CNDP forces into the army, but the strategy was short-sighted as it made no provisions for addressing the underlying causes of conflict beyond Rwanda’s security objectives. The current mutiny underway in the Kivus is perhaps the clearest evidence to date of how little progress has been made in stabilisation. The 2008 and 2012 crises appear remarkably similar, including their ethnic dimension, reported support from Rwanda and the negative impact on civilians, including displacement and potential for increasing ethnic tensions at the community level. These crises are symptoms of unresolved regional and local conflicts over access to land and resources, as well as a failure to achieve structural reform within the security sector, poor governance and non-existent rule of law, and the inability to address the sources of financing for armed groups, end impunity and extend state authority, including through decentralisation. 
In this context, it would be a mistake if the Security Council seeks to make only minor adjustments to the current course in renewing MONUSCO’s mandate. Without a new approach and re-engagement by the Security Council, MONUSCO risks becoming a $1.5 billion empty shell. 
MONUSCO has lost credibility on several fronts and urgently needs to reorient its efforts. 
First, the mission has had strikingly little success at fulfilling its primary objective to protect civilians, though some of its innovative operational improvements should be acknowledged and encouraged. The population remains profoundly vulnerable to violence and frustrated by the lack of protection as illustrated by the recent attack on UN peacekeepers in Bunyiakiri, South Kivu. Despite progress against the FDLR, the threat of armed groups remains pervasive and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) cites an additional 218,000 internally displaced persons in North Kivu between 1 April and 31 May 2012. Durable protection of civilians will only come through an enhanced political process and the establishment of accountable state institutions. 
Secondly, MONUSCO technical and logistical support to deeply flawed elections in 2011 and the inability to successfully promote dialogue between the parties has altered perceptions about the Mission’s impartiality. Neither the Security Council nor MONUSCO articulated clear red lines for the credibility of the process, and the good offices role of the Mission appeared underutilised. With the failed decentralisation agenda, constitutional reforms that further expanded the power of the Presidency and little accountability for violence and massive fraud associated with the elections, the evidence continues to mount in support of the concerns Crisis Group expressed to the Security Council last year about the potential for authoritarian drift and consequences of the failure to resolve grievances through elections. If not corrected, international involvement in the DRC, including through MONUSCO, risks entrenching an unaccountable government and undermining its own eventual rule of law and peacebuilding efforts. 
The Security Council should undertake a review of MONUSCO’s strategy and improve performance. 
MONUSCO’s focus on the use of force to stabilise the Kivus is not enough. Despite the conditionality policy for MONUSCO support to FARDC operations, there remains a lack of clarity about the overall military strategy and articulation of an end state to the military operations against illegal armed groups. What is required is a comprehensive strategy and sustained local and regional engagement by the international community. Clearly there is a need to address both local drivers of conflict between communities and the interplay with regional dynamics, including relations with Rwanda, whether through renewed political dialogue or a national accountability and reconciliation process, or both. 
To bolster the government’s accountability, the holding of credible provincial and local elections, including in the east, is essential. The mistakes of 2011 should not be repeated and clear standards on the organisation and holding of elections should be communicated to the government by the Security Council and MONUSCO, in particular serious reform of the Commission Electorale Nationale Indépendante (CENI) and improved transparency in the logistics and supply procedures of the elections. MONUSCO should engage with key stakeholders, monitor CENI adherence to electoral law and report on the process. MONUSCO should not support elections that are clearly not credible. 
Security sector reform (SSR) is vital to stability in the DRC, but little progress can be expected without serious re-engagement and support from all sides, including the government, MONUSCO, the UN Security Council and key partners. Without a clear commitment from President Kabila and the government to a broader peacebuilding agenda, SSR will continue to flounder. The Security Council should only consider an enhanced role for MONUSCO in SSR as part of a broader political strategy for stability in eastern Congo and once some progress has been made in enhancing government accountability, otherwise the UN risks exacerbating rather than improving instability. 
The Security Council should send a signal to the Congolese government and its partners that it is time for a new strategic dialogue. A business-as-usual rollover of MONUSCO’s mandate will send the wrong message to all parties. 
When renewing MONUSCO’s mandate, the Security Council should:
Call on the Congolese government to arrest Bosco Ntaganda and transfer him to the International Criminal Court for trial;
Demand the end to illegal cross-border support to armed groups operating in the DRC, notably by Rwanda, and consider consequences for those parties who do not cease support;
Request the Secretary-General to undertake a strategic review of MONUSCO’s stabilisation strategy and report back to the UN Security Council, including on the development and implementation of a comprehensive strategy, with a strong political component, to address pervasive insecurity and the threat of illegal armed groups in eastern Congo.
Enhance attention to key governance reforms — such as the holding of credible provincial and local elections, decentralisation and progress in the fight against corruption — by updating operative paragraph four of Security Council resolution 1991 (2011) to include their achievement as one of the core objectives that is the basis for decisions on reconfiguration of the mission;
Insist on the holding of free, fair and credible provincial and local elections, as well as the timely re-organization of legislative elections in Masisi territory that were canceled by the CENI;
Articulate clear standards for the holding of elections and condition MONUSCO support on serious reform of the CENI and improved transparency in the logistics and supply procedures and accountability for past election-related human rights violations.

Louise Arbour 
President and CEO
READ LETTER (Crisis Group)

Open Letter to the United Nations Security Council on the Situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Brussels  |   11 Jun 2012

Excellency, 

History is again repeating itself in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). There is a risk of serious escalation of violence and the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Congo (MONUSCO) is failing in its core mandate of stabilisation and protection of civilians. This month’s renewal of MONUSCO presents a vital opportunity for the Security Council to review its strategy in the DRC. 

Eastern Congo is again rapidly destabilising with the defection of Bosco Ntaganda from the Congolese army and the formation of the M23 Movement, another Tutsi-led rebellion allegedly supported by Rwanda. The government, weakened by presidential and legislative elections last November that were widely recognised as deeply flawed, is seizing the opportunity to please the international community by at last pursuing the capture of Ntaganda. President Joseph Kabila seems to be gambling that this is an opportunity to break the parallel structures maintained by the Congrès national pour la défense du peuple’s (CNDP) within the army, and to remobilise domestic support around anti-Rwanda sentiment by pursuing a military defeat of the M23. In addition to the fragmentation of the army and new fighting between the Forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo (FARDC) and ex-CNDP elements, various Mai-Mai groups have expanded their reach and the Forces Democratiques de Liberation du Rwanda (FDLR) remains a persistent, if diminished threat, as the FARDC fails to control territory. 

The stabilisation strategy underpinned by MONUSCO was centred too heavily on an expectation that the 2008-2009 rapprochement between DRC and Rwanda was enough to contain the conflict in the Kivus. The bilateral agreement was based on President Kabila’s willingness to integrate Rwanda’s proxy CNDP forces into the army, but the strategy was short-sighted as it made no provisions for addressing the underlying causes of conflict beyond Rwanda’s security objectives. The current mutiny underway in the Kivus is perhaps the clearest evidence to date of how little progress has been made in stabilisation. The 2008 and 2012 crises appear remarkably similar, including their ethnic dimension, reported support from Rwanda and the negative impact on civilians, including displacement and potential for increasing ethnic tensions at the community level. These crises are symptoms of unresolved regional and local conflicts over access to land and resources, as well as a failure to achieve structural reform within the security sector, poor governance and non-existent rule of law, and the inability to address the sources of financing for armed groups, end impunity and extend state authority, including through decentralisation. 

In this context, it would be a mistake if the Security Council seeks to make only minor adjustments to the current course in renewing MONUSCO’s mandate. Without a new approach and re-engagement by the Security Council, MONUSCO risks becoming a $1.5 billion empty shell. 

MONUSCO has lost credibility on several fronts and urgently needs to reorient its efforts. 

First, the mission has had strikingly little success at fulfilling its primary objective to protect civilians, though some of its innovative operational improvements should be acknowledged and encouraged. The population remains profoundly vulnerable to violence and frustrated by the lack of protection as illustrated by the recent attack on UN peacekeepers in Bunyiakiri, South Kivu. Despite progress against the FDLR, the threat of armed groups remains pervasive and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) cites an additional 218,000 internally displaced persons in North Kivu between 1 April and 31 May 2012. Durable protection of civilians will only come through an enhanced political process and the establishment of accountable state institutions. 

Secondly, MONUSCO technical and logistical support to deeply flawed elections in 2011 and the inability to successfully promote dialogue between the parties has altered perceptions about the Mission’s impartiality. Neither the Security Council nor MONUSCO articulated clear red lines for the credibility of the process, and the good offices role of the Mission appeared underutilised. With the failed decentralisation agenda, constitutional reforms that further expanded the power of the Presidency and little accountability for violence and massive fraud associated with the elections, the evidence continues to mount in support of the concerns Crisis Group expressed to the Security Council last year about the potential for authoritarian drift and consequences of the failure to resolve grievances through elections. If not corrected, international involvement in the DRC, including through MONUSCO, risks entrenching an unaccountable government and undermining its own eventual rule of law and peacebuilding efforts. 

The Security Council should undertake a review of MONUSCO’s strategy and improve performance. 

MONUSCO’s focus on the use of force to stabilise the Kivus is not enough. Despite the conditionality policy for MONUSCO support to FARDC operations, there remains a lack of clarity about the overall military strategy and articulation of an end state to the military operations against illegal armed groups. What is required is a comprehensive strategy and sustained local and regional engagement by the international community. Clearly there is a need to address both local drivers of conflict between communities and the interplay with regional dynamics, including relations with Rwanda, whether through renewed political dialogue or a national accountability and reconciliation process, or both. 

To bolster the government’s accountability, the holding of credible provincial and local elections, including in the east, is essential. The mistakes of 2011 should not be repeated and clear standards on the organisation and holding of elections should be communicated to the government by the Security Council and MONUSCO, in particular serious reform of the Commission Electorale Nationale Indépendante (CENI) and improved transparency in the logistics and supply procedures of the elections. MONUSCO should engage with key stakeholders, monitor CENI adherence to electoral law and report on the process. MONUSCO should not support elections that are clearly not credible. 

Security sector reform (SSR) is vital to stability in the DRC, but little progress can be expected without serious re-engagement and support from all sides, including the government, MONUSCO, the UN Security Council and key partners. Without a clear commitment from President Kabila and the government to a broader peacebuilding agenda, SSR will continue to flounder. The Security Council should only consider an enhanced role for MONUSCO in SSR as part of a broader political strategy for stability in eastern Congo and once some progress has been made in enhancing government accountability, otherwise the UN risks exacerbating rather than improving instability. 

The Security Council should send a signal to the Congolese government and its partners that it is time for a new strategic dialogue. A business-as-usual rollover of MONUSCO’s mandate will send the wrong message to all parties. 

When renewing MONUSCO’s mandate, the Security Council should:

  • Call on the Congolese government to arrest Bosco Ntaganda and transfer him to the International Criminal Court for trial;
  • Demand the end to illegal cross-border support to armed groups operating in the DRC, notably by Rwanda, and consider consequences for those parties who do not cease support;
  • Request the Secretary-General to undertake a strategic review of MONUSCO’s stabilisation strategy and report back to the UN Security Council, including on the development and implementation of a comprehensive strategy, with a strong political component, to address pervasive insecurity and the threat of illegal armed groups in eastern Congo.
  • Enhance attention to key governance reforms — such as the holding of credible provincial and local elections, decentralisation and progress in the fight against corruption — by updating operative paragraph four of Security Council resolution 1991 (2011) to include their achievement as one of the core objectives that is the basis for decisions on reconfiguration of the mission;
  • Insist on the holding of free, fair and credible provincial and local elections, as well as the timely re-organization of legislative elections in Masisi territory that were canceled by the CENI;
  • Articulate clear standards for the holding of elections and condition MONUSCO support on serious reform of the CENI and improved transparency in the logistics and supply procedures and accountability for past election-related human rights violations.

Louise Arbour 

President and CEO

READ LETTER (Crisis Group)