Remarks to the press: Ambassador Wittig on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

Sep 18, 2012

(near-verbatim transcript of remarks by Security Council President Ambassador Wittig, following consultations of the Security Council on DR Congo)

Wittig: “The Security Council just held consultations on the situation in Congo – the DRC. You know that DRC – and especially the Kivus – has gone through military and political tensions recently and a major humanitarian crises. As always political and military tensions lead to humanitarian situations that hit the civilians most.

USG Ladsous briefed us on his recent visit to the region. And he will speak to you after my remarks. He met with the leadership in Kigali and in Kinshasa and he met with President Museveni. That trip came in the wake of meetings the Security Council had a couple of weeks ago with the Foreign Ministers of Rwanda and the DRC, and it comes in the run-up to the GA opening week when there will be a high-level-meeting on the DRC next week.

Today Council members agreed that a political solution to the crisis is of utmost priority, a political solution. Dialogue, confidence building and cooperation between Kinshasa and Kigali are urgently needed to address also the root causes of the conflict. Council members welcomed recent regional efforts to address the current crisis and emphasized that their focus should be on a political process. And Council members welcomed the Secretary-General's active engagement in solving this crisis in the DRC. They looked forward to the High-level Meeting on Eastern Congo, scheduled for next week – as I said – and expected this meeting to strengthen and assist the political process and ownership by the region.

That is the gist of the consultations we had. For details I’d like to refer you to the remarks that Under-Secretary-General Ladsous will make in a minute.”

[Q. on the International Conference of the Great Lake Region]

Wittig: “We take note of the engagement of the region – which is something positive and the International Conference of the Great Lake Region has been engaging in that crises. And that a priori is a very positive development. We also take note of their suggestion – that has been mentioned today – to explore the possibility of a neutral force. That, of course, has to be discussed when the time comes. But I think all of us welcome regional engagement that helps to solve that crisis in the DRC.” 

[Q on Yemen]

Wittig: “I have nothing to add to the statement that I read on behalf of the Council, summing up our discussion this morning. You know that we invoked the resolution that the Council adopted on Yemen which contains some possible follow up action also regarding the spoilers of the  transition process. That resolution was invoked a couple of times. It shows that the Council is eventually willing to accompany in a constructive – but if need be also a clear manner – this process of transition in Yemen.”

[Q. on Brahimi]

Wittig: ”We agreed to meet as Council with Mr. Brahimi on the 24th in the morning and we will have informal consultations with him.”

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