Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

04/24/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/24/2024 10:49

The United Kingdom is deeply concerned by the worsening conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo: UK statement at the UN Security Council

President, I'll make three points.

First, the United Kingdom is deeply concerned by the worsening conflict in eastern DRC. This has resulted, as we've heard, the deteriorating humanitarian situation. This has resulted in the large-scale displacement of people from their homes and high levels of sexual violence, including in IDP camps. The United Kingdom has committed $126 million in humanitarian funding to eastern DRC.

Second, MONUSCO's efforts remain critical. We urge all parties to immediately end attacks on peacekeeping troops. Such attacks undermine MONUSCO's ability to deliver on its mandate, including to protect civilians and to build the capacity of the DRC's security forces. We also call on all security parties to coordinate and deconflict their activities. We also emphasise our commitment to a gradual, responsible and sustainable withdrawal. We call on the DRC government, through close coordination with MONUSCO, to assume its protection responsibilities for the civilian population in line with the joint disengagement plan.

Third, the United Kingdom notes with concern the increased tensions between DRC and Rwanda and between Rwanda and Burundi. We have condemned the continued advance of UN-sanctioned M23 Forces and have called on all external actors to end their support for armed groups in DRC. We have engaged Kigali and Kinshasa on the need for dialogue and have urged them to use their influence to de-escalate tensions and to seek a cessation of hostilities. We also encourage both Presidents Kagame and Tshisekedi to engage directly with each other to bring an end to the conflict.

In conclusion, President, the United Kingdom welcomes and encourages the continued engagement of the Great Lakes region, including the valuable work of the UN Special Envoy. We commend the efforts of regional leaders to encourage dialogue and de-escalation. We reiterate our support for the Nairobi and Luanda processes and we are encouraged by progress and talks in Luanda. President, there is no military solution to this conflict. We must make every effort to bring the parties back to political processes. The United Kingdom stands ready to support efforts all efforts in this regard.

Thank you.