NEW YORK, July 17, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Néstor Osorio (Colombia):
The members of the Security Council condemn in the strongest terms the attacks by the 23 March Movement (M23) mutineers, reiterate their demands that the M23 and all armed groups, including the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), cease immediately any further advances and all forms of violence in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and urge that the commanders of M23, including Bosco Ntaganda, who is the subject of an International Criminal Court arrest warrant, be apprehended and brought to justice. They further express deep concern with the sharply deteriorating situation in the North Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the worsening of the humanitarian situation in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the increasing number of displaced persons and refugees and reports of both sexual violence and the use of child soldiers.
The members of the Security Council reiterate their condemnation of all outside support to all armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and their demand that all forms of support to them cease immediately. They further call upon all countries in the region to cooperate actively with the Congolese authorities in demobilizing the M23.
The members of the Security Council reiterate their full support for the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and its operations in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including their efforts to assist the Congolese Government in protecting civilians displaced or threatened as a result of the violent activities of armed groups. The members of the Security Council recall that all responsible for attacks against civilians or MONUSCO personnel must be held accountable and brought to justice.
The members of the Security Council take note with interest of the report of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region Regional Interministerial Extraordinary Meeting on the Security Situation in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, held on 11 July in Addis Ababa, and urge the Governments of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda to fully implement bilateral and regional mechanisms in addressing insecurity in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The members of the Council welcome the recent discussions between President Paul Kagame and President Joseph Kabila to resolve the crisis, and encourage continued high-level dialogue at the bilateral and regional levels.