Congo Watch: July 2013

Friday, July 26, 2013

Violence in DR Congo and Great Lakes region gets all-out attention from the UN Security Council

Report by DipoNews.com dated Thursday, 25 July 2013:
Violence in the DRC and Great Lakes region gets all-out attention from the UNSC

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been the topic of multiple United Nations Security Council (UNSC)'s meetings this month: On July 11, Under-Secretary-General of Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous introduced the latest UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) report; on July 19, the Group of Experts (GoE) sent its interim report to the DRC Sanctions Committee; and on July 22, Azerbaijani Ambassador Agshin Mehdiyev and Chair of this Committee presented his conclusions to the UNSC.

The upsurge in violence in the DRC and the Great Lakes region between the UN/Congolese troops and several armed groups including the March 23 Movement (M23), the Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda (FDLR), the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF-NALU) and the Mayi Mayi Kata-Katanga prompted a UNSC ministerial on July 25 whose presidential statement reiterated the international community's support for the implementation of the commitments under the Peace, Security and Cooperation (PSC) Framework agreed on February 24.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (see his remarks and report), the President of the World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim, and Mr. Ban's Special Envoy for the Great  Lakes region, Mary Robinson, briefed the UNSC on their trip to the DRC, Rwanda and Uganda on May 22-24. The UNSC welcomed the announcement made by the World Bank of USD 1 bn in planned funding for development projects in the Great Lakes region and commended "the personal diplomatic engagement" of SG Ban and reaffirmed its strong support to Mrs Robinson who was encouraged "to lead, coordinate and assess" the implementation of national and regional commitments under the PSC Framework in view of the next meeting of the "11+4" Regional Oversight Mechanism scheduled for September.

The meeting took place amid growing fears voiced by humanitarian organizations about a possible UN-led military offensive which could make the humanitarian situation worse. The diplomats focused on Resolution 2098 and the further implementation of the decision to create a 3,000-strong intervention brigade as part of the MONUSCO. Also, the regional oversight mechanism of the PSC Framework held its first meeting in Addis Ababa on May 26 and welcomed the establishment of a technical support committee to define regional benchmark, several days after the M23 carried out attacks in the Mutaho area, in the vicinity of Goma.

Additional attacks targeted the Congolese army on July 11 in Kamango and the MONUSCO on July 14 along the Muba-Kamango axis at the initiative of the ADF-NALU,   which resulted in several casualties and prompted over 60,000 refugees to flee to neighboring Uganda. Besides, the UNSC took note that hundreds of M23 combatants, including individuals listed by the UN sanctions regime concerning the DRC, fled from the DRC into Rwanda on March 18, however appreciating the initial steps swiftly taken by the government of Rwanda to handle this situation.

Once again, the UNSC demanded that all the armed groups cease immediately all forms of violence and fully disband and disarm. According to French Minister delegate for development Pascal Canfin, "these attacks severely compromised regional and international efforts to find a lasting solution to the crisis in the Great Lakes region," that's why France and other countries have urged the "swift implementation" of the MONUSCO intervention brigade. 
Read more
Renewed fears on DRC's stability as M23 advances towards Goma, civilians flee to Uganda
Rwanda and South Korea (ROK) increase bilateral cooperation, sign one Development agreement
Click on the links at source: 
http://www.diplonews.com/intro/2013/20130726_UNSCFocusOnDRC.php

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

DR Congo: Heavy fighting has resumed between the Congolese army and the M23 armed group in the Mutaho-Kibati area, near Goma, in N. Kivu Province

HEAVY fighting has resumed between the Congolese army and the M23 armed group in the Mutaho-Kibati area, near Goma, in N. Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo.  Excerpt from 22 July 2013 Daily Press Briefing by the UN's Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General:
The United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo [MONUSCO] reports that heavy fighting has resumed between the Congolese army and the M23 [23 March Movement] armed group in the Mutaho-Kibati area, near Goma, in North Kivu Province.  
The Mission, MONUSCO, adds that after exchanging intermittent fire over the weekend, both sides are now using small arms, mortars and rockets.  The Mission reiterates its call for restraint and its peacekeepers in the area remain on high alert.
Source:  http://www.un.org/News/briefings/docs/2013/db130722.doc.htm
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Further Reading

Sudan files complaint to AU against Uganda's support for rebels        
KHARTOUM, Sudan - 20 July 2013 (Xinhua) -- Sudan has filed a complaint to the African Union (AU) against Uganda over its support for rebel insurgency against Khartoum, Almeghar Alsyasi daily reported Saturday.  The paper quoted Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Rahamtalla Mohamed Osman as saying that the Sudanese government "is waiting for the AU's response to its complaint."
Full story at Uganda Watch Sunday 21 July 2013:
http://ugandawatch.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/sudan-files-complaint-to-au-against.html
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URGENT: South Sudan army says it and UN unable to protect civilians in Jonglei State. Western powers are worried the violence will escalate into full civil war. (UPDATE 1: Added YouTube video link)
Full story at Sudan Watch, Thursday 18 July 2013:
http://sudanwatch.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/urgent-south-sudan-army-says-it-and-un.html
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DR Congo:  Over 30,000 Congolese flee rebel attacks to Uganda: UN
KAMPALA, Uganda (AFP) 13 July 2013 –  More than 30,000 refugees from eastern Democratic Republic of Congo fleeing a rebel attack on the town of Kamango have arrived in neighbouring Uganda, UN officials said on Saturday...
Full story at Congo Watch, Monday 22 July 2013:
http://congowatch.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/dr-congo-over-30000-congolese-flee.html
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CAR:  Communiqué of the AU PSC on the situation in the CAR
Communiqué of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 386th meeting on the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) [Last Updated on Friday 19 July 2013]:  The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 386th meeting held on 19 July 2013, adopted the following decision on the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR)...
Full story at:  Congo Watch, Friday 19 July 2013
http://congowatch.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/car-communique-of-au-psc-on-situation.html
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Monday, July 22, 2013

DR Congo: Over 30,000 Congolese flee rebel attacks to Uganda: UN

Report by AFP dated 13 July 2013, reprinted by Fox News.com:
Over 30,000 Congolese flee rebel attacks to Uganda: UN

KAMPALA, Uganda (AFP) 13 July 2013 –  More than 30,000 refugees from eastern Democratic Republic of Congo fleeing a rebel attack on the town of Kamango have arrived in neighbouring Uganda, UN officials said on Saturday.

Streams of refugees have crossed the border into western Uganda's Bundibugyo district since the attack on Thursday.

United Nations refugee agency official Karen Ringuette said that as of late Friday, more than 30,000 had entered Uganda, updating a previous tally of at least 23,000.

So far, there had been no further updates of numbers arrived on Saturday, Ringuette added.

The town of Kamango in the northernmost part of North Kivu province was attacked and briefly occupied Thursday by a Ugandan-led rebel group, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).

Ugandan army spokesman Paddy Ankunda said Saturday that troops have been sent to reinforce positions along the border with Congo.

"We have deployed enough forces on our common border to ensure these terrorists (ADF) do not cross the line, because Uganda is their target," Ankunda told AFP.

"We are in contact with Congolese army and the situation is getting back to normal, but people have continued to enter Uganda fearing the rebels will kill them."

The ADF was formed in the mid-1990s in the Rwenzori mountains in western Uganda, close to the DR Congo border.

Part of the ADF is now based in DR Congo after Ugandan government forces attacked their bases two years ago.

Photo:  A mother carries her baby at Rwamwanja refugee camp in western Uganda on February 28, 2013. More than 30,000 refugees from eastern Democratic Republic of Congo fleeing a rebel attack on the town of Kamango have arrived in neighbouring Uganda, UN officials have said. (AFP/File)
Source:  http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/07/13/over-30000-congolese-flee-rebel-attacks-to-uganda-un/

Friday, July 19, 2013

CAR: Communiqué of the AU PSC on the situation in the CAR

Communiqué of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 386th meeting on the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) [Last Updated on Friday 19 July 2013]:
The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 386th meeting held on 19 July 2013, adopted the following decision on the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR)

Council,

1. Takes note of the report of the Chairperson of the Commission on the situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) [PSC/PR/2(CCCLXXXV)], as well as of the statement made by the Commissioner for Peace and Security. Council also takes note of the statements made by the Representatives of Rwanda, the Secretariat of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the United Nations, the European Union, France, United-Kingdom and the United States of America;

2. Recalls its previous communiqués and press statements on the situation in the CAR, especially communiqué PSC/PR/COMM/1.(CCCLXXX) adopted at its 380th meeting held on 17 June 2013, in which Council supported, in principle, the establishment of an International Support Mission in Central Africa (AFISM-CAR) for the period of the transition as articulated in the Roadmap;

3. Expresses deep concern at the prevailing social, economic and humanitarian situation in CAR;

4. Welcomes the initiatives taken by the Commission in follow-up to communiqué PSC/PR/COMM/1.(CCCLXXX) and commends, in this regard, the conclusions of the technical meeting held in Addis Ababa from 2 to 5 July 2013 , which resulted in an agreement on the draft Concept of Operations for the AFISM-CAR;

5. Welcomes further the successful holding of the second meeting of the International Contact Group on the CAR (ICG-CAR), and appeals to all stakeholders to work towards the effective implementation of its conclusions;

6. Decides, on the basis of the concept of operations, annexed to the report of the Chairperson of the Commission, to authorize the deployment, for an initial period of six months, of AFISM-CAR, which will have a total strength of 3 652, including 3 500 uniformed personnel (2,475 for the military component and 1,025 for the police component) and 152 civilians, the nucleus of which will be constituted by the contingents currently serving in MICOPAX, in order to contribute to: (i) the protection of civilians and the restoration of security and public order, through the implementation of appropriate measures; (ii) the stabilization of the country and the restoration of the authority of the central Government; (iii) the reform and restructuring of the defense and security sector; and (iv) the creation of conditions conducive for the provision of humanitarian assistance to population in need;

7. Requests the Commission to continue its consultations with the General Secretariat of ECCAS in order to finalize all aspects of the transition from the MICOPAX to AFISM-CAR, which will take effect from 1 August 2013;

8. Urges the United Nations Security Council, the European Union (EU) through the Africa Peace Facility, and bilateral partners to lend their full support to the AU and ECCAS to facilitate the transformation of MICOPAX into AFISM-CAR and the effective functioning of AFISM-CAR through the provision of the necessary financial, logistical and technical support;

9. Requests the Chairperson of the Commission to forward this communiqué and the attached CONOPS to the UN Secretary-General for their circulation to the Security Council for appropriate action;

10. Reiterates its call for the mobilization of humanitarian and socio-economic assistance that is commensurate with the problems facing the CAR. In this regard, Council stresses the urgency of the speedy operationalization of the Trust Fund agreed to during the inaugural meeting of the ICG-RCA, held in Brazzaville on 3 May 2013;

11. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Source:  http://www.peaceau.org/en/article/communique-of-the-peace-and-security-council-of-the-african-union-au-at-its-386th-meeting-on-the-situation-in-the-central-african-republic-car