UN Security Council renews arms embargo, set of sanctions on DRC

10:11, November 30, 2010      

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The UN Security Council on Monday adopted a resolution which renewed the arms embargo as well as a related set of sanctions against the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) by another year.

The 15-nation Council unanimously adopted a French drafted resolution that continued the regime of sanctions, which have been in place since 2003, until Nov. 30, 2011.

It renewed an arms embargo against illegal armed groups. Additionally, it included a set of measures such as a travel ban and assets freeze.

Members of the Security Council reiterated their "serious concern" over the presence of armed groups and militias in the eastern part of the DRC, including in the provinces of North and South Kivu and Orientale which "perpetuate a climate of insecurity. "

The Security Council also extended the mandate of the Group of Experts dealing with the DRC for the same period, requesting they "focus its activities in areas affected by the presence of illegal armed groups."

The Council also supported "taking forward" the Group of Experts'recommendations on due diligence guidelines for the buying and processing of lucrative mineral products in the troubled African country.

The latest report by the Group, which focuses its activities on the volatile eastern part of the country, highlights the involvement of certain criminal networks with the Congolese armed forces, known as FARDC, in the illegal exploitation of natural resources, through illegal taxation, protection rackets, and various forms of commercial and coercive control.

"This involvement, which President (Joseph) Kabila has publicly condemned, has led to pervasive insubordination, competing chains of demand and failure to actively pursue armed groups and protect civilians," states a press summary of the report, which was made public on Monday.

The report also observes that though forced to concede most of the main mining sites in the Kivus to the FARDC, Congolese and foreign armed groups continue to control natural resources in more remote areas and have increasingly relied on intermediaries and predatory attacks to profit from the mineral trade.

Meanwhile, the resolution noted with "great concern" the persistence of human rights and humanitarian law violations against civilians in the eastern part of the DRC.

It also called upon states, especially those in the region, to take "effective steps to ensure that there is no support" for the illegal armed groups. It called for measures "where appropriate" against leaders of the Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda rebels (FDLR) and other illegal groups.

Source: Xinhua


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