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11 December 2013 - Democratic Republic of Congo - Remarks to the press by Mr Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations and President of the UN Security Council

Bonjour, nous avons eu une session du Conseil de sécurité en présence de Mme Robinson, l’Envoyée spéciale du Secrétaire général, de M. Kobler, le Représentant spécial du Secrétaire général et de M. Ladsous, le Secrétaire général adjoint pour les opérations de maintien de la paix, sur la République démocratique du Congo.

Nous avons dit que nous pourrions donner à ces trois intervenants le prix de l’exposé le plus optimiste de l’année 2013. En effet, les trois intervenants considèrent que la situation s’est considérablement améliorée en République démocratique du Congo avec la défaite du M23, la mise en œuvre de l’accord-cadre signé par les onze Etats de la région et dont la mise en œuvre est suivie par Mme Robinson.

C’est un succès des Nations unies, c’est un succès de la République démocratique du Congo, c’est un succès de la région. Mais, a dit M. Kobler et tous les autres participants ont été d’accord, c’est un succès fragile. Il faut maintenant reconstruire les Kivu et il faut reconstruire une paix régionale. Les trois intervenants ont exprimé leur conviction que le Président Kabila et les autorités de la République démocratique du Congo avaient pris la mesure de l’enjeu et étaient déterminés à reconstruire une vie pacifique dans la région des Kivu.

De son côté, M. Kobler a confirmé que la MONUSCO, après son succès contre les rebelles du M23, était en train de s’engager dans une opération contre le groupe des FDLR. Il a aussi souligné qu’un grand nombre de rebelles des multiples autres groupes avaient annoncé et s’étaient engagés dans une opération de désarmement.

Nous ne voyons pas le monde en rose, nous savons que trop souvent nos espoirs ont été déçus en République démocratique du Congo par les événements mais nous sommes à un moment plutôt favorable de la situation et il faut désormais consolider ce succès.


This morning we had a briefing of the Security Council by Mrs Robinson, Mr. Kobler and Mr Ladsous. The Security Council granted the prize of the most positive briefing of 2013 to the three participants after the success against the M23 movement. A sort of different momentum is there. The authorities of the DRC are determined to rebuild the state in Eastern Kivu. The framework agreement is implemented under the monitoring of Mrs. Robinson.

At the same time, nobody is blind. As Mr. Kobler said, it is a fragile success. There are a lot of elements that could make everything go wrong. We know from history that it may happen in this part of the world.

Mr. Kobler also announced the launching of a military operation against the FDLR. He explained that the operation cannot be the same: the M23 was waging a traditional war with a front of armed forces and easily identifiable, while the FDLR are small groups, often living in small villages with their families, which means among civilians. So it would be a different sort of operation. Nevertheless, the operation will be conducted with determination.

Let’s not see the world in a “rosy” manner but it has been a positive development. When you look at where we were 8 months ago or beginning of 2013, I think it is quite fit to see where we are right now.


Q: There was a report pulled out today by the UN and the Human Rights Office about post-electoral violence that took place in the last election. They said that 345 violations have been identified and almost none of them have been prosecuted. What is the role of the international community and the Security Council?

The question has not been raised in the briefing. On human rights, humanitarian questions have been raised as well as the rapes in the Minova. It has been confirmed that eight high ranking officers and 41 persons have been brought to court, and that the UN have objected to the type of court.

So on this issue there were questions and answers but we were more handling what has happened in the last three months on the ground and the question you are referring to has not been raised, neither by the three participants, nor by the members of the Council.

Q: You just mentioned the differences in fighting against the M23 and the FDLR. Did Mr Kobler give any indication on whether this means it might take longer to deal with the FDLR?

It was the implication of the way he was describing what he was doing because it was in a progressive manner. They are trying to retake the control of the region where the FDLR was acting, and creating what he calls centers of stability. It means going to a village and try to make this village a center of stability for the region, and little by little, controlling the region where the FDLR were active. But as I said, there is a major obstacle which is the fact that the FDLR are living with their families, which means with civilians. The fact of not having civilian casualties is also a limitation. But it has been said with a lot of determination by Mr Kobler that MONUSCO is going to handle the issue of the FDLR.

Q: Did he talk about the ADF?

Yes, FDLR and ADF. He was a bit generic. But all the questions were about the FDLR.

Q: Did Mr. Kobler give any timetable of how long he thought it may take to subdue the FDLR? And did he give any indication about when they would start to go after the Mai-Mai?

No, he did not give any timetable.

As for the other groups, my understanding is that most of them now are giving up their weapons. It is paradoxical but the danger is that we could be overwhelmed by rebels giving up their arms. Because, after that, you have the question of the DDR. He told us that already several thousands of rebels have given up their weapons. He was quoting the Mai-Mai Cheka saying that they have given up their weapons and that the Cheka have vanished. If I understood what he said, the problem they are facing now is with the FDLR and the ADF. The other groups for the moment give the impression that they have vanished, maybe because of the deterrent effect of the intervention brigade.

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Organisation des Nations Unies Présidence de la République France Diplomatie La France à l'Office des Nations Unies à Genève Union Européenne Première réunion de l'ONU