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28 March 2014 - DRC / CAR / Ukraine - Remarks to the press by Mr. Gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

(in French and in English)

Bonjour à tous,

Les membres du Conseil de sécurité viennent d’adopter à l’unanimité une résolution présentée par la France sur la République démocratique du Congo. Cette résolution permet de renouveler le mandat de la Force des Nations unies en RDC, la MONUSCO, y compris de sa brigade d’intervention, pour une année supplémentaire.

Depuis l’adoption de la résolution 2098 il y a un an, des progrès ont été obtenus sur le terrain, le principal d’entre eux étant la mise en échec du groupe des rebelles M23 qui avait menacé pendant de longs mois la population.

La fin de la rébellion du M23 ne doit pas nous faire oublier deux éléments.

Tout d’abord, il faut continuer la neutralisation des groupes armés. Les opérations contre les ADF ont commencé, ainsi que celles contre les FDLR. C’est une priorité importante de ce Conseil et la résolution qui a été adoptée y consacre des paragraphes spécifiques.

Deuxièmement, il est important que les progrès que nous avons réalisés d’un point de vue militaire se concrétisent dans le domaine civil, avec notamment le déploiement des organes de l’Etat à l’Est du Congo.

La négociation de la résolution 2098 avait été difficile car elle avait introduit des changements importants au sein de la MONUSCO, avec la création de la brigade d’intervention. Ces éléments qui ont prouvé leur valeur ont été reconduits. Nous avons simplement modifié légèrement le mandat pour nous rapprocher de ce que M. Martin Kobler appelle « une mission, un mandat, une force ».

Nous devons par ailleurs poursuivre la mise en œuvre des accords d’Addis Abeba. Il est important que les pays signataires de cet accord, au premier rang duquel la République démocratique du Congo, mettent en œuvre leurs engagements.

***

The Security Council just adopted Resolution 2147, which is renewing the mandate of the UN force in the DRC -MONUSCO-, including its intervention brigade, for one more year.

Since we have adopted Resolution 2098, significant progress has been obtained on the ground, the main one being the defeat of the M23 rebel group.

This first success should not make us forget two elements.

The first one is that we have to neutralize the other armed groups. MONUSCO has started its operations against the ADF and against the FDLR. We have in the adopted resolution specific paragraphs on that.

The second element is that if we want our military success to be solid and sustainable, we have now to move to the civilian field, which means that the DRC State has to deploy State institutions in Eastern DRC.

The negotiation of Resolution 2098 was difficult because we created a new element which is the intervention brigade. This intervention brigade has shown its value on the ground, so it was much easier to renew its mandate which has been lightly modified to emphasize what Mr. Kobler was calling “one mission, one mandate, one force”.

Also, we have to implement all the aspects of the Addis Ababa framework agreement. The resolution emphasizes the importance of implementing the commitments of all the signatories of this agreement, the first one being the DRC.

***

Q: In the implementation of the mandate, can you explain what France’s view is as they came after ADF before FDLR?

That is up to the management of the Force, you have to ask the Force.

Q : Monsieur l’Ambassadeur deux questions sur la Centrafrique. La situation a l’air de s’aggraver à Bangui. Premièrement, est-ce que vous avez déjà une date prévue pour l’adoption de la résolution sur l’envoi de casques bleus ? Et deuxièmement, vu l’urgence de la situation et vu le peu d’empressement des partenaires européens de la France, est-ce que cette dernière serait disposée à augmenter son effectif militaire sur place ?

Il y a eu des incidents graves pendant le weekend et ce matin. C’est un fait. Il reste à savoir s’il s’agit d’incidents isolés ou s’il s’agit d’une aggravation durable de la situation. Il faut d’abord analyser ces incidents pour connaitre leur signification.

En ce qui concerne l’adoption d’une résolution créant une opération de maintien de la paix en République centrafricaine, nous espérons présenter au Conseil de sécurité un projet de résolution dans une dizaine de jours, c’est-à-dire au cours de la semaine du 5 au 12 avril.

En ce qui concerne les effectifs de force française, pour le moment nous sommes dans une phase d’analyse de la situation. Et ce genre de question doit être posé au ministère de la Défense à Paris.

Q : This afternoon you will be hearing the Secretary-General about his trip to Russia and Ukraine. What are you hoping to hear and what are the next steps for the UN action there? And on North Korea, how soon do you think there could be a next step after yesterday?

Yesterday there was a very clear vote. Now it is very clear for this Organization that the annexation of Crimea is illegal. So for the Organization now, there is no doubt. Maps of the Organization and the way the Organization is going to behave, including all its entities and agencies, is that Crimea is Ukrainian. That is an important element. And it was by 100 votes.

Now we are going to listen to the Secretary-General who met President Putin, with Mr. Lavrov and with the Ukrainian authorities. So we are going to see whether something is possible on Crimea, but also on the de-escalation of the tensions. There are tensions in Eastern Ukraine; you have Russian forces at the border. It is a very dangerous situation because you can have a spark. That is the reason why the French authorities, and I am sure the UN Secretary-General, call for de-escalation. So we will listen to the Secretary-General to see what could be the role of the UN for de-escalation -you know that the OSCE sent a mission-, so where UN observers could go, and what they could do.

On the DPRK, you heard yesterday’s declaration by the Council Presidency.

Q: On Ukraine, overnight, the Russian Foreign Ministry accused Western countries of using blackmail and economic and political threats to coerce countries into voting yes. Do you have any comment?

When you lose, you have to be a good a loser. I think Russia is a bad loser. They lost, and they did by 100 votes.

Q: On the DRC, you mentioned difficulties on the negotiations, in part in relation to the Brigade force. Given the success of the Brigade in dealing with the M23, can you characterize what these issues were around the renewal of the mandate?

There was no difficulty for this renewal, but rather at the creation of the Intervention Brigade. The negotiation of resolution 2098 was a bit difficult. The creation of the Intervention Brigade was a breakthrough in the organization because so far peacekeeping operations were to keep peace, while the mandate of the Intervention Brigade is clearly to go and fight the armed groups. It is quite different from simply keeping peace. So this creation of the Intervention Brigade was something very new. And the UN, like any organization, does not like very much what is new. That was the novelty of the Intervention Brigade. But now we have tested our idea, the Intervention Brigade, and it works. So we hope it could be a model when necessary for the future.

Last point, we created the Intervention Brigade at the specific request of the Africans. It is not an initiative coming from the Secretariat or from members of the Security Council. The Africans requested it, and they provided specific contingents - South Africa, Tanzania, Malawi. It is really a request coming from outside the UN.


Learn more on the DRC, the CAR and Ukraine.



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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