UN / DRC

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29-Mar-2022 00:03:58
The head of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) said, without a combination of approaches that address “both causes and symptoms, our resources and those of the FARDC (the Congolese military) will remain insufficient” in the face of the deteriorating security situation in the country, adding that this illustrates the “inherent limitations of relying solely on security operations to resolve these conflicts.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / DRC
TRT: 3:58
SOURCE: UNIFEED
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / FRENCH / NATS

DATELINE: 29 MARCH 2022, NEW YORK CITY

SHOTLIST:

FILE – NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UN headquarters exterior

29 MARCH 2022, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. Wide shot, Keita on screen at Security Council
4. SOUNDBITE (French) Bintou Keita, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and head of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO):
“We must, however, be realistic and face the facts. Without a combination of approaches that address both causes and symptoms, our resources and those of the FARDC will remain insufficient in the face of such a deteriorating security situation; this illustrates the inherent limitations of relying solely on security operations to resolve these conflicts. Thus, while I condemn in the strongest terms the attacks by armed groups against civilian populations, I reiterate my call for the government to implement comprehensive political strategies, including measures and reforms that address the root and structural causes of these conflicts, and that will make it possible to achieve stabilization and lasting peace.”
5. Wide shot, Security Council
6. SOUNDBITE (French) Bintou Keita, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and head of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO):
“The strategic importance of this revision of the law for the stability of the country cannot be underestimated. It is a key moment for a large part of the political class and civil society, which is expecting concrete measures to restore confidence in the management of the electoral process.”
7. Wide shot, Keita on screen at Security Council
8. SOUNDBITE (French) Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja, Permanent Representative of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the United Nations:
“The pacification of eastern DRC must also inevitably lead to the strengthening of the fight against the illegal trafficking of arms and ammunition, as well as the fight against the plundering of natural resources. This was also mentioned today by a number of speakers. At the same lines, there is a need to maintain an efficient and well-targeted sanctions policy in order to disrupt all mafia networks.”
9. Wide shot, Security Council
10. SOUNDBITE (French) Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja, Permanent Representative of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the United Nations:
“After all the agreements signed with the M23 and its annihilation, inter alia by the United Nations Intervention Brigade, one cannot but question the resurgence of this movement, the resurgence of M23. Moreover, many questions remain, including the source of their supplies, who supplies them with arms and ammunition, and why?”
11. Wide shot, Security Council
12. Wide shot, press room
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, United Nations:
(Begins under cutaway) "Just starting off unfortunately with some sad news from our peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A search and rescue operation was launched today after a Puma helicopter lost contact with our colleagues and crashed earlier today.
The helicopter, with eight people on board, including six crew members – all from the Pakistani military – and two military personnel – one from the Russian Federation and one from the Republic of Serbia – they were on a reconnaissance mission in the area of Tshanzu, south-east of Rutshuru in North Kivu. There have been clashes there between the M23 armed group and Congolese armed forces in recent days.
An investigation is underway. We will update you as soon as more information becomes available. Our thoughts are obviously with the families and friends of those onboard the helicopter, and all of our colleagues of the UN Mission of the Democratic Republic of the Congo."
14. Wide shot, spokesperson leaving press room

STORYLINE:

The head of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) said, without a combination of approaches that address “both causes and symptoms, our resources and those of the FARDC (the Congolese military) will remain insufficient” in the face of the deteriorating security situation in the country, adding that this illustrates the “inherent limitations of relying solely on security operations to resolve these conflicts.”

Addressing the Security Council today (29 Mar), MONUSCO chief Bintou Keita stressed that the security situation in the DRC has continued to deteriorate, with a rise in civilian casualties and population displacements.

In addition to existing challenges, Keita warned Council Members about an alarming resurgence of activities by the M23 armed group. Yesterday, she said, members of the M23 committed appalling attacks targeting civilians near Rutshuru. Fighting also took place in the three-border area around Rwanda, the DRC and Uganda, near the town of Bunagana.

In the first three months of this year, MONUSCO has documented nearly 2,300 civilian deaths in the eastern part of the DRC.

In this context, Keita said that the peacekeeping mission has redoubled its efforts to better protect civilians but, she added, “We must, however, be realistic and face the facts. Without a combination of approaches that address both causes and symptoms, our resources and those of the FARDC will remain insufficient in the face of such a deteriorating security situation; this illustrates the inherent limitations of relying solely on security operations to resolve these conflicts. Thus, while I condemn in the strongest terms the attacks by armed groups against civilian populations, I reiterate my call for the government to implement comprehensive political strategies, including measures and reforms that address the root and structural causes of these conflicts, and that will make it possible to achieve stabilization and lasting peace.”


The MOUNSCO chief said, with the establishment of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) and the start of preparations for the electoral process, she welcomed the declared ambition of the President of the National Assembly to carry out a revision of the electoral law that is as consensual as possible, in order to ensure an inclusive, transparent and peaceful process, allowing in particular the active participation of women and young people within the prescribed constitutional timeframe.

Keita said, “The strategic importance of this revision of the law for the stability of the country cannot be underestimated. It is a key moment for a large part of the political class and civil society, which is expecting concrete measures to restore confidence in the management of the electoral process.”

Congolese ambassador Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja said the political situation in his country has been mainly dominated by the preparations for the upcoming elections and the continuation of regional partnerships. He said, despite certain challenges related to security, financial and logistical constraints, the Government, under the leadership of the Head of State, is working to ensure the success of this electoral process. He added that any other support, facilitation or constructive contribution that can help make this process a success is welcome.

Nzongola-Ntalaja said the security situation in the DRC remains generally calm throughout the country, apart from the activities of armed groups in certain territories in the east of the country. He stressed that President Felix Tshisekedi continues to activate regional diplomacy that could eventually change the situation in the East of the DRC as well as in the region. He added that his Government is also considering options for non-military solutions for both domestic and foreign armed groups.

The Congolese ambassador said, “The pacification of eastern DRC must also inevitably lead to the strengthening of the fight against the illegal trafficking of arms and ammunition, as well as the fight against the plundering of natural resources. This was also mentioned today by a number of speakers. At the same lines, there is a need to maintain an efficient and well-targeted sanctions policy in order to disrupt all mafia networks.”

Nzongola-Ntalaja said, despite regional efforts by President Tshisekedi, the M23 carried out incursions and attacked FARDC positions in Chanzu and Munyonyi in the Rutshuru Territory on the night of 27-28 March.

He asked, “After all the agreements signed with the M23 and its annihilation, inter alia by the United Nations Intervention Brigade, one cannot but question the resurgence of this movement, the resurgence of M23. Moreover, many questions remain, including the source of their supplies, who supplies them with arms and ammunition, and why?"

In other news in the DRC, MONUSCO has launched a search and rescue operation after a Puma helicopter lost contact with the mission and crashed earlier today.

Speaking to reporters, UN spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said, “The helicopter, with eight people on board, including six crew members – all from the Pakistani military – and two military personnel – one from the Russian Federation and one from the Republic of Serbia – they were on a reconnaissance mission in the area of Tshanzu, south-east of Rutshuru in North Kivu. There have been clashes there between the M23 armed group and Congolese armed forces in recent days. An investigation is underway. We will update you as soon as more information becomes available. Our thoughts are obviously with the families and friends of those onboard the helicopter, and all of our colleagues of the UN Mission of the Democratic Republic of the Congo."
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