EP debate on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: extracts from the Council and EC statements
End production: 19/11/2008 First transmission: 19/11/2008
On 19 November 2008, the Members of the European Parliament debated the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo after hearing statements from Council and Commission. The House also voted on a resolution on this topic.
The Head of United Nations peacekeeping has recently asked the UN Security Council for more than 3 000 extra troops to protect civilians in the eastern DRC. The Foreign Affairs Council meeting on 10 and 11 November stated that the Council firmly condemns the continuing unacceptable violations of human rights in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in particular the numerous cases of sexual violence and the recruitment and use of child soldiers by the armed groups. It calls on all the parties involved to stop such violations of human rights. It would point out that the DRC government is responsible for the behaviour of its armed forces and urges it to make every effort to strengthen the protection of the civilian population and to fight against impunity. The Council urges the authorities of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of Rwanda to step up their cooperation in order to implement the commitments entered into in Nairobi, and to give priority to dialogue and consultation to help bring about lasting peace in the east of the Congo and stability in the region.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
|| Exterior view of the European Parliament in Strasbourg
|| Jean-Pierre Jouyet, French Minister of State with responsibility for European Affairs and President in office of the Council, (in FRENCH) saying that it is estimated that 250,000 people are displaced in terrible conditions, that is 1 million displaced people for the province of northern Kivu; in addition, crime against human rights have been perpetrated by the rebels, including executions, rape as well as the recruitment of children soldiers and looting by rebel groups and Congo army forces;
saying that the priority is the humanitarian emergency and also to secure access of the aid to the displaced people; it is the mandate of the MONUC (United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo) to reinforce its military capacity in Northern Kivu and the Council supports these efforts;
saying that the EU has strengthened its support in the humanitarian aid; many Member States have contributed financially towards the NGOs;
saying that they must deal with the problem of illegal armed groups in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as other groups from Congo and elsewhere; there is no military solution to the crisis; the solution is a diplomatic one including the Goma and Nairobi peace processes;
saying that this crisis will not be solved without the reinforcement of the United Nations forces;
|| Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Member of the EC in charge of External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, (in FRENCH) saying that the main problem is the access to the population in some areas because of the fights that are going on between the different groups of rebels and the DRC forces because no one respects the cease fire;
saying that it is time to face the deep rooted causes of the crisis in East Congo that are known by everyone: the presence of FLDR, the looting of mine resources, the political frustrations of minorities and local communities;
saying that some Member States are ready for a CFSP force mission but no decision can be taken without unanimity within Europe on this; and the same goes for the UN Security Council which will need to make an official statement on this;
|| Cutaways (4 shots)