Stop supporting DRC rebels, says Ban
28 February 2013, 12:46
New York – The UN leader Ban Ki-moon said on Wednesday that
foreign countries are still backing rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo
and must face "consequences" over the instability there.
Ban made the call in a report in which he called for
international support for an "intervention brigade" for eastern DRC,
where the UN peacekeepers have struggled against armed groups such as M23.
The UN leader did not name countries aiding the rebels or
say what action should be taken against them.
"Ongoing support to armed groups by neighbouring
countries continues to be a source of serious instability and should have
tangible consequences for the perpetrators." his report to the UN Security
The UN experts have said Rwanda and Uganda armed and
assisted the M23 group in an uprising against government forces in eastern DRC
and have called for action. Both countries deny the claims.
The report was completed after 11 African nations signed an
accord on Sunday aiming to end two decades of strife in eastern DRC.
DRC vowed to take measures to increase security and
government authority in its mineral-rich east. The 10 other countries,
including Rwanda and Uganda, promised not to interfere in the affairs of their neighbours.
"I recognise that the legitimate concerns and interests
of all neighbouring states must be taken into [account] as part of any lasting
political settlement in the Great Lakes region," Ban said.
"External support to any of the armed groups operating
in the eastern DRC is an unacceptable violation of [the] sovereignty and
territorial integrity of the DRC that severely undermines the stability of the
region as a whole."
Decades of mismanagement
Ban said a special envoy for the Great Lakes that he plans
to name will work to find ways "to guarantee non-interference in the
internal affairs" of other states and neutralise the threat from armed
groups prowling the region.
Ban gave more details on his plan for an intervention
brigade in eastern DRC, which would be a special part of the UN peacekeeping
"The intervention brigade would carry out targeted
offensive operations" on its own and with the DRC army, said the report,
adding that the mission would need two extra attack helicopters and four
The UN peacekeeping officials say the intervention brigade
would be 2 500 strong. Monusco currently has about 17 000 peacekeepers, making
it the biggest wholly UN peacekeeping operation.
Ban's special brigade and the recent peace accord were a
direct result of the uprising launched last year by the M23 group in North Kivu
province. M23 briefly seized the regional capital Goma last year and still
controls a chunk of territory near the frontier with Rwanda.
The UN leader said it was crucial for President Joseph
Kabila's government to tighten its grip on the east and other isolated parts of
the country by training a disciplined army and improving the police and
However his report highlighted the "decades of
mismanagement" and "widescale corruption" in DRC, which has
undermined state authority.