3713th Meeting of Security Council: Situation in Zaire - Part 2

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15-Nov-1996 01:22:21
Security Council authorizes establishment, for humanitarian purposes, of temporary multinational force in eastern Zaire at 3713th meeting.

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Welcoming the offers by Member States, in consultation with the States concerned in the region, the Security Council this afternoon authorized the establishment of a temporary multinational force to facilitate, by using all necessary means, the return of relief organizations and the delivery of humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering of all civilians at risk in eastern Zaire, including the voluntary, orderly repatriation of refugees.

Acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Council adopted unanimously resolution 1080 (1996), by which it also decided that the operation should terminate on 31 March 1997, unless the Secretary-General reported earlier that its objectives had been fulfilled.

The Council further decided that the cost of implementing the force should be borne by participating Member States and by voluntary contributions, and welcomed the establishment of a trust fund with the purpose of supporting African participation in the multinational force. It also expressed the intention of authorizing the establishment of a follow-on operation to succeed the multinational force.

Also by the resolution, the Council welcomed the offer by a Member State to take the lead in organizing and commanding the temporary multinational force.

Addressing the Council, the representative of Canada said that 20 countries had already committed more than 10,000 peace-keepers to the multinational force, with the main body coming from France, United Kingdom, United States and Canada. He called for more contributions to the trust fund to support the participation of African countries in the operation. The mission did not envisage disarmament or interposition as elements of the force mandate, he stated, adding that its primary mission would be the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Also speaking before action on the resolution, the representative of Zaire said his Government could not understand why the Security Council had not responded earlier to the aggression perpetrated against his country. Zaire reserved the right to refuse the participation of certain Governments in the multinational force, he said.

The representative of Rwanda said that refugees were now returning to his country at a rate of 100 persons per minute in the past 48 hours. Given the changing situation, the plans for the proposed multinational force should be adapted and its mandate limited to a period of two to three months.

The primary mission of the force should be to disarm the troops of the former Rwandan Army and canton them far from the borders of Burundi and of Rwanda, the representative of Burundi said.

Statements were also made by the representatives of France, United Kingdom, China, Botswana, Germany, Republic of Korea, Egypt, Guinea-Bissau, Poland, Honduras, Italy, Chile, Russian Federation, United States and Indonesia.

The meeting convened at 4:38 p.m. and rose at 7:35 p.m.

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