The United Nations (UN) Security Council met today, Thursday August 29, 2013, on the situation in Eastern DRC. The purpose was to examine the possibility of additional sanctions against the leaders of the Rwandan government backed M23 Congolese rebels.
According to sources at the United Nations, earlier versions of the draft proposed by France and the United States have been rejected, due to the opposition by the Rwandan government representatives at the UN Security Council.
The Rwandan delegation was especially against the proposal to add sanctions on the following M23 rebels leaders:
* Colonel Eric Mboneza, the M23 Rebels commander in Rutshuru and Kiwandja
* Colonel Vianney Kazarama, the M23 Rebels spokesperson.
Both Colonel Eric Mboneza and Colonel Kaina, who is already on the list of UN Sanctions list, have been working with the Rwandan Defense Forces General Eric Murokore and Major Gerard Ntashamaje (see our article General Eric Murokore and Major Gerard Ntashamaje Recruiting for M23 Congolese Rebels of August 2, 2013)
Meanwhile, the commanders of the South African contingent within the UN Intervention Brigade have deployed South African Special Forces, who, on Thursday, claimed killing more than 6 M23 rebels and destroying several M23 rebels’command posts around Goma.
South African President Jacob Zuma has confirmed that three South African troops were injured while providing “fire support in forms of artillery bombardment and mortar shells together with gunships and airstrikes.”
South African Defence Union national secretary Pikkie Greeff told the media that South Africa will deploy, within a short period of time, two Rooivalk helicopters to the DRC to increase the firing power of the UN Intervention Brigade.
Following is the draft press release proposed by France and the USA, and accepted by a lll other UN Security members, except Rwanda, as obtained by AfroAmerica Network:
On 22 August 2013, the members of the Security Council heard a briefing by Mr Edmond Mulet, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, on the situation in Eastern DRC.
The members of the Security Council condemned the resumption of fighting in Eastern DRC. They condemned in the strongest terms the repeated and targeted attacks by the M23 against civilians and MONUSCO, which have led to civilian casualties and loss of life, the death of a peacekeeper and the injury of several others, and damage to a MONUSCO ambulance.
The members of the Security Council expressed their condolences to the family of the peacekeeper killed in the attack, as well as to the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania and to MONUSCO. They called on the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo to swiftly investigate the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice.
They recalled that intentionally directing attacks against personnel, installations, material, units or vehicles involved in a peacekeeping mission in accordance with the Charter of the UN, as long as they are entitled to the protection given to civilians or civilian objects under the international law of armed conflict, constitutes a crime under international law.
They reiterated their demand to M23 and other armed groups including FDLR to cease immediately all forms of violence and that their members immediately and permanently disband and lay down their arms. In this regard, they reiterated their readiness to adopt additional targeted sanctions against those acting in violation of the sanctions regime and the arms embargo.
The Members of the Security Council also expressed concern at reports of repeated mortar shells and bombs landing in Rwandan territory, and called for a thorough investigation into the sources of these shells and bombs by the Expanded Joint Verification Mechanism (EJVM).
The members of the Security Council commended 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 encouraged the continuation of these efforts. They welcomed SRSG’s Kobler order to the force to take all necessary actions to protect civilians. They emphasized that any –effort to undermine MONUSCO’s ability to implement its mandate will not be tolerated.”
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