Statement on the situation in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

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Belgium condemns in the strongest terms the murder of a large number of civilians in Kishishe and Bambo, in the province of North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A preliminary investigation by the UNJHRO and MONUSCO has established that this violence was committed by elements of the M23, which currently occupies these villages. National and international investigators must be able to carry out their work and continue their investigation. The perpetrators of this massacre cannot go unpunished, whether by national or international justice, seized by the DRC.

Belgium reiterates its support for regional diplomatic efforts, in particular the Nairobi and Luanda processes, which promote de-escalation and the search for a lasting pacification of eastern DRC. The roadmap agreed in Luanda must be implemented without delay, in all its aspects, including by the M23. It is therefore essential, for the stability of the region, that all the parties involved now show restraint and that any collusion or cooperation with all the armed groups active in eastern DRC cease immediately and permanently. Belgium calls on Rwanda to cease all assistance to the M23 and to continue to use all the means at its disposal to persuade it to re-engage in a process of disarmament, demobilization and community reintegration. The M23 must immediately cease hostilities and withdraw from areas under its control. Belgium also calls for an end to all relations, intentional or not, between any Congolese authority and the FDLR.

The sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Democratic Republic of Congo and of all the countries of the region must be fully respected. Particularly on this international day of commemoration of the victims of the crime of genocide and their dignity,

Belgium calls for an end to messages of hatred and calls for violence targeting specific communities. Belgium recalls the importance of humanitarian access to civilian populations. It commends the efforts of the UNJHRO, United Nations agencies and humanitarian actors who carry out their work in difficult conditions.

 

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