Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the Security Council briefing on the situation in the Great Lakes region

Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at the Security Council briefing on the situation in the Great Lakes region

Madam President,

I join other colleagues in thanking Special Envoy Said Djinnit for his briefing on the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Great Lakes Region.

Ukraine welcomes the efforts and commitments of the parties of the mentioned Framework concerning its further implementation that they demonstrated during the reported period. In addition, we commend the efforts undertaken by regional organizations, in particular the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, the Southern African Development Community and the African Union.

Nevertheless, we are concerned that some of priority provisions remain unimplemented. On the one hand, we have statements of all parties of PSC Framework regarding their readiness to implement them. On the other, we see a lack of meaningful actions. And by this I mean collective actions of all actors. Thus, the absence of political will to comply with promises and obligations is a root-cause of PSC Framework delayed implementation.

This factor creates distrust among all regional members and provokes tensions among them. As a result, at the beginning of the year, an incursion of former M23 elements into the DRC led to an exchange of accusations between two neighboring countries regarding alleged non-upholding of regional commitments in the PSC Framework. To prevent the repetition of this situation in the future, Ukraine urges all signatories of Nairobi Declaration to accelerate their efforts and resolve the issue of M23 as soon as possible.

Importance of this is highlighted by the fact that the DRC is currently on its way to conduct long-awaited presidential, parliamentary and provincial elections in 2017. Challenges of non-implementation of all provisions of PSC Framework should not undermine or impede that process. In this regard, we believe elimination of the ADF and FDLR threat in the east of the DRC should be prioritized by all regional actors.

There is also an urgent need to resolve the issue of SPLM/A-IO combatants’ presence in the DRC. We commend the readiness of President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni to host those combatants, who wish to relocate to Uganda and urge the Government of South Sudan to consider this option as a possible way out of this situation.

We also expect the DRC authorities will be able to address in a proper way the new threat that recently emerged in the Kasai province — the activities of the Kamiuna Nsapu gang that allegedly killed two members of the Group of experts on the DRC. In addition, we urge the Government of the DRC to spare no effort in investigating all human rights violations and abuses in that region committed by both state and non-state actors and to bring those responsible to accountability.

Two weeks ago, the Security Council considered the situation in the DRC and adapted the mandate of the MONUSCO to current realities and challenges in the country.

In the context of the DRC political situation, we want to express our concern regarding the recent appointment of Mr. Bruno Tshibala as Prime minister of the DRC, who cannot be regarded as a legitimate representative of opposition. As it was clearly stipulated in the 31st December agreement, it was the opposition’s prerogative to pick a candidate for the post of the Prime minster. Thus, in our view this appointment may further exacerbate the political tensions between all stakeholders. We urge all national stakeholders to comply with their obligations under the mentioned Agreement.

Madam President,

Another challenge in the Region is the situation of human rights in Burundi and Burundian refugees’ inflow in the neighboring countries.

We are deeply disappointed that serious human rights violations and abuses continue, including killings, gender-based violence, arbitrary arrests and detentions, particularly of children, torture and ill-treatment, intimidation of civil society organizations and journalists, as well as restriction of fundamental freedoms in this country. In our view, a lack of serious efforts to investigate human rights abuses and overcome the climate of impunity in the country only encourages perpetrators to commit new crimes.

Ukraine also calls on the Government of Burundi to follow the example of the Gambia and South Africa, who reverse their previous decision to withdraw from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

The refugee crisis is a one of the main indicators of the worsening political and security situation in Burundi and in neighboring countries. This situation requires urgent action aimed at delivering adequate assistance, providing shelter and other necessary support to the vulnerable, including basic social services, ensuring child protection, tackling of sexual and gender-based violence and helping people with special needs.

It is quite upsetting that the situation in Burundi is worsening, while implementation of key elements of Security Council resolution 2303 (2016) has stalled.

We believe that increasing the human rights monitoring capacity and establishing police component, as envisaged by resolution 2303, including the AU deployment of human rights observers and military experts, is urgently needed to reinforce peace-restoring efforts in Burundi.

Thank you.