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By Godfrey Olukya   19-11-2012

UN security council president, Hardeep Singh Puri has  issued a statement on the situation in Democratic Republic of Congo.

This follows recent severe clashes between government troops and M23 rebels in which both sides have experienced causalities. The rebels have however gained strength and are a few kms from the eastern region city of Goma.

The statement reads, ‘The members of the Security Council express deep concern regarding the rapidly deteriorating security and humanitarian crisis in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo due to ongoing military activities of the 23 March Movement (M23).

The members of the Security Council strongly condemn the resumption of attacks by the M23 and demand their immediate cessation as well as the cessation of any further advances towards the city of Goma. The members of the Security Council demand that any and all outside support and supply of equipment to the M23 cease immediately.

The members of the Security Council strongly condemn the continuation of grave violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law by the M23. They express their intention to apply additional targeted sanctions against the leadership of the M23 and those acting in violation of the sanctions regime and the arms embargo, and call on all Member States to submit, as a matter of urgency, listing proposals to the 1533 Committee.

The members of the Security Council express deep concern regarding the increasing number of displaced persons and refugees and call on all parties, in particular the M23, to exercise restraint and to allow safe, timely and unhindered humanitarian access to those in need.

The members of the Security Council call on all relevant States to use their influence on the M23 to bring about an end to attacks.

The members of the Security Council reaffirm their strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The members of the Security Council commend the active steps taken by the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) to implement its mandate, in particular the protection of civilians, and encourage the continuation of these efforts. They emphasise that any effort to undermine MONUSCO’s ability to implement its mandate will not be tolerated.

The members of the Security Council reiterate the importance of the efforts of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region to resolve the conflict and find a durable political solution. They call on the United Nations Secretary-General to continue his good offices to facilitate enhanced dialogue between relevant parties, and to report to the Council on the evolution of the crisis in the coming days.

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