UN voices concern over security in DRC

In this May 24, 2022 photo, people walk on the road near Kibumba, north of Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, as they flee fighting between Congolese forces and M23 rebels in North Kivu. (MOSES SAWASAWA / AP)

UNITED NATIONS – The United Nations on Saturday voiced concern over the deteriorating security situation in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), given the increase of attacks against civilians by rebels as well as the presence of foreign armed groups.

"We call on all armed groups to immediately cease all forms of violence. We urge Congolese armed groups to participate unconditionally in the disarmament, demobilization, community recovery and stabilization program, and foreign armed groups to immediately disarm and return to their countries of origin," said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, in a note to correspondents.

We call on all armed groups to immediately cease all forms of violence. We urge Congolese armed groups to participate unconditionally in the disarmament, demobilization, community recovery and stabilization program, and foreign armed groups to immediately disarm and return to their countries of origin.

Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

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"We reaffirm our strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the DRC and strongly condemn the use of proxies. We welcome and support ongoing national and regional political efforts to accompany the disarmament of armed groups, including by President Felix Tshisekedi of the DRC and President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya through the Nairobi process," said the spokesman.

The UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC is also working to promote non-military measures for the disarmament of foreign armed groups, he said.

The United Nations welcomes the nomination of Angolan President Joao Lourenco by the African Union as a mediator to defuse tensions between the DRC and Rwanda, and fully supports these political efforts, he said.

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"We are deeply concerned about reports of increased hate speech in the country against some particular communities, including in the context of the M23 (rebel group)'s resurgence. Hate speech must be confronted proactively," said the spokesman.