The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU), at its 642nd meeting, held on 6 December 2016, adopted the following decision on the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC):
1. Takes note of the briefing made by the Commissioner for Peace and Security, Ambassador Smail Chergui, on the latest developments in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Council also takes note of the statements made by the representatives of the DRC, the Secretariat of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), as well as Gabon, Chair of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), the United Nations (UN) Office to the AU and Egypt, on behalf of the African members of the UN Security Council (A3);
2. Pays tribute to all those who participated in and contributed to the Dialogue under the facilitation of H.E. Mr. Edem Kodjo, the AU Facilitator for the National Dialogue in the DRC. In this regard, Council welcomes the signing, on 18 October 2016, of the "Political Agreement for the Organization of Peaceful, Free, Fair and Credible Elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo". Council recalls the terms of the communiqué issued by the Chairperson of the AU, His Excellency Idriss Deby Itno of Chad, on 18 October 2016;
3. Also welcomes the beginning of the implementation of the Political Agreement, with the appointment of a Prime Minister from the opposition, and looks forward to the formation of the new Government;
4. Calls upon all the Congolese political and social actors, following the call made by the Eighth Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), held in Libreville, Gabon, on 30 November 2016, to adhere to and take ownership of the Political Agreement of 18 October 2016, which is a solid basis to consolidate national consensus likely to enable the organization and holding of free and fair Presidential, legislative and local elections;
5. Commends the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO) for its efforts and use of good offices to reach consensus between the Presidential majority and the opposition movement, le Rassemblement;
6. Urges all Congolese stakeholders to refrain from any threat or intimidation, likely to heighten tension, in order to preserve peace and stability in the DRC;
7. Calls upon the Congolese authorities to take the necessary measures with a view to enhancing respect for human rights and contribute to diffusing political tension. Within this framework, Council welcomes the commitment made by the President of the DRC, His Excellency Mr. Joseph Kabila, to comply with all the provisions of the Constitution of the DRC;
8. Reiterates its concern about the insecurity, violence and massacres of civilians in eastern DRC, despite the efforts made by the Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC), as well as by the Intervention Brigade of the United Nations Organisation Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) to neutralise negative forces operating in the region. Within this context, Council calls for continued and enhanced joint operations between the FARDC and MONUSCO;
9. Expresses its deep compassion with all the victims and requests the Subcommittee of the Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC) to take the necessary measures to attest AU solidarity with the people forced to move or seek refuge in neighboring countries;
10. Reiterates the support of the African Union to the process of the implementation of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC;
11. Also Reiterates its call for the acceleration of the process aimed at implementing the Nairobi Declarations, including its aspects relating to amnesty and voluntary repatriation of M23 ex-combatants;
12. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.
Posted by Limi Mohammed
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