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28 October 2013 - DRC - Remarks to the press by Mr gérard Araud, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations

(in French and in English)

Bonjour, je vais d’abord faire une déclaration en français.

Comme vous le savez la France a demandé une réunion du Conseil de sécurité pour faire le point de la situation dans l’Est de la RDC après les attaques du M23 et donc le chef de la MONUSCO, M. Kobler, nous a fait part des informations suivantes.

Tout d’abord on peut dire aujourd’hui que le M23 est militairement fini. L’attaque conduite par les forces armées de la RDC avec le soutien de la MONUSCO a été un succès. La plupart des positions tenues par le M23 ont été reprises par les forces armées de la RDC et donc tout le monde en a conclu que nous devions revenir à la table des négociations à Kampala.

Enfin, pour vous dire que le Conseil de sécurité a approuvé une déclaration à la presse qui vous sera lue par la présidence de l’Azerbaïdjan.

So France has requested this meeting of the Security Council so we could be informed of what has happened in the DRC these last days. Mr. Kobler has briefed us and basically he told us that we are witnessing the military end of the M23. So I think it is a positive development of course and there was a general agreement that now we should go back to the table of negotiations in Kampala. As you know, last week Mr. Kobler and Mrs. Robinson told us that basically it was the M23 who refused to negotiate. So we hope that the rebel movement has been chastised and will go back to the table of negotiations. On the DRC side, the minister of defense has declared that Kinshasa was ready to negotiate and eventually we have agreed a press statement and the press statement will be read by the presidency of the Security Council.

Q : What was the role of MONUSCO ? What is France’s position on the shelling of Rwanda ?

I think MONUSCO went to Kiwanja before the arrival of the M23 and while the M23 was retreating to protect the civilian population in the city. While doing this, one Tanzanian soldier was shot in the head by an M23 fighter. He was wearing a helmet but he was shot in the throat by an M23 fighter. So that is what we understand of the support of MONUSCO. As for the shelling, it has been condemned by the Security council on Friday, and today in the press statement you will hear we have presented our condolences to all the civilian victims of the fighting in the DRC and in Rwanda following the shelling we were referring to on Friday.

Q : Ambassador, did Mr Kobler give you any more detailed information on the reports of mass graves ?

Yes, he said they discovered two mass graves. Apparently the remains are not recent. They are not the results of the last days of fighting. They need to have forensic investigation to know what the origin of the victims is and when the apparent massacre was conducted.

Q : Do you have an idea of the numbers ?

No, it needs a forensic specialist.

Q : Did the subject of other rebel groups come up in the consultations now that the M23 was defeated?

The issue was raised, but it was said that for the moment the FARDC are ending the M23 issue, but everybody agreed that it would be necessary afterwards that the FARDC shift their attention to the other armed groups. The FDLR and other armed groups. But for the moment the main threat was the M23, which has attacked.

Q : Did he give any evaluation on the intervention Force ?

The intervention of the intervention Brigade was to secure a city, I will not repeat its name, to protect the civilian population. It was while conducting this operation that the Tanzanian lieutenant was killed.

Learn more on the Democratic Republic of Congo.



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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