3748th Meeting of Security Council: Situation in Great Lakes Region

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07-Mar-1997 00:09:09
Security Council welcomes Zaire's acceptance and OAU endorsement of peace plan for Eastern Zaire at 3748th meeting.

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Presidential Statement Calls on Alliance of Democratic Forces for Liberation of Congo/Zaire to Publicly Accept Peace Provisions

The Security Council this evening welcomed the Zairian Government's acceptance of the United Nations peace plan contained in its resolution 1097 (1997) of 18 February, as well as endorsement of the plan by the Council of Ministers of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) at its meeting in Tripoli from 24 to 28 February.

In a statement read by President Zbigniew Wlosowicz (Poland) on members' behalf, the Council called on the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo/Zaire to declare publicly its acceptance of all the provisions of resolution 1097, particularly that which called for an immediate cessation of hostilities.

By resolution 1097, the Council endorsed a five-point peace plan for eastern Zaire calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities, withdrawal of all external forces, including mercenaries, and the reaffirmation of respect for the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Zaire and other States in the Great Lakes region.

Also by its statement today, the Council expressed grave concern at the deteriorating situation in the Great Lakes region, particularly in eastern Zaire, and underlined the urgent need for a comprehensive and coordinated response by the international community in support of the efforts of the joint United Nations/Organization of African Unity Special Representative for the Great Lakes Region.

Expressing concern about the effect of continued fighting in eastern Zaire on the refugees and inhabitants of that region, the Council called on all parties to allow access by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and humanitarian agencies to refugees and displaced persons. The Council also took note with concern of allegations of violations of international humanitarian law in the conflict zone and welcomed the sending of a United Nations fact-finding mission to the area.

In addition, the Council welcomed all efforts, including those of the organizations and States of the region, aimed at resolving the crisis. In that context, it welcomed the initiative of Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi to convene another regional meeting in Nairobi on 19 March and the OAU's initiative to organize a summit of the Central Organ of the OAU Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution on the Great Lakes region in Lome before the end of March. The Council also reaffirmed the importance of holding an international conference on peace, security and development in the Great Lakes region under the auspices of the United Nations and the OAU.

The Council was informed of Zaire's acceptance in a letter dated 5 March from the Secretary-General (document S/1997/197). Annexed to the letter is a statement issued in Paris by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Zaire, Gerard Kamanda wa Kamanda, indicating that the legal institutions of Zaire, in particular the Zairian President Mobutu Sese Seko and the Zairian Government, represented by the Prime Minister, Leon Kengo wa Dondo, had accepted the five-point peace plan.

The meeting, which began at 7:07 p.m. was adjourned at 7:13 p.m.

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