The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU), at its 671st meeting, held on 27 March 2017, adopted the following decision on the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC):
1. Takes note of the statement made by the Commissioner for Peace and Security, as well as of the briefings provided by the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the Commission and Head of the AU Liaison Office in the DRC, on the political situation and the electoral process in the DRC and by the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Operations and the Rule of Law in the United Nations Organisation Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) on security situation in the DRC. Council also takes note of the statements made by the representatives of the DRC, Egypt, in its capacity as an African Member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), Angola, in its capacity as the Chair of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) and the European Union (EU);
2. Recalls the Communiqué PSC/PR/COMM. (DCXLII) and Press Statement PSC/PR/BR(DCXLV) adopted at its 642nd and 645th meetings held on 6 December 2016 and 22 December 2016, respectively;
3. Takes note of the Joint Press Release on the DRC, issued on 16 February 2017 by the AU, the United Nations, the EU and the International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF). Council also takes note of the Joint Press Release issued by the Current Chairman of the AU, H.E. Mr. Alpha Condé and the Chairperson of the Commission, Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, on 25 March 2017;
4. Expresses its deep concern over the increase in violence and the spread of insecurity in the DRC, including repeated violations of human rights which has contributed to the worsening of the humanitarian situation. Council strongly condemns the killings of 39 Congolese police officers in Kasai Province, as well as other acts of violence committed by armed groups and negative forces against civilians and the destruction of property including churches. Council calls upon the Congolese authorities to take the necessary measures and, if necessary, with the support of relevant international institutions, to find and bring before the relevant jurisdictions the perpetrators of these crimes. In this context, Council denounces and condemns the actions of some elements of the former M23 Movement aimed at resuming the armed confrontation in violation of the Nairobi Declaration of 13 December 2013;
5. Further expresses its concern over the slow progress in the implementation of the Comprehensive Political Agreement of 31 December 2016 and calls upon all the Congolese stakeholders to show commitment, political will and take up their responsibilities, in order to reach an agreement on the position of the Prime Minister and power sharing arrangements, without further delay, in order to preserve stability and end the present impasse in their country. In this regard, Council underlines the need for the full implementation of the Political Agreement of 31 December 2016;
6. Welcomes the mediation efforts deployed by the Congolese National Episcopal Conference (CENCO) in search for a viable solution to political crisis in the DRC and encourages it to continue its efforts in this regard;
7. Notes with satisfaction the efforts in voter registration made by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), with the support of MONUSCO in some areas of the country and calls upon the INEC to enhance efforts in finalizing voter registration in the remaining areas and registration of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), in order to advance the electoral process;
8. Stresses the need and urgency of making the necessary resources available to the INEC for the completion of the electoral process, in conformity with the timelines of 31 December 2017. In this regard, Council urges the AU Member States and the partners of the DRC to contribute to the efforts to mobilize the necessary resources for the organization of the elections. Within this context, Council requests the Chairperson of the Commission to dispatch an evaluation mission to the DRC to assess the ways and means in which the AU could support the electoral process;
9. Re-iterates the importance of MONUSCO in stabilizing the country, protecting civilians and promoting observance of human rights. Council welcomes efforts by MONUSCO to neutralize negative forces and calls for the stepping up of efforts in this regard. Council also welcomes the good cooperation between the MONUSCO forces and the Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC), in order to effectively address the security challenges and provide appropriate responses to the humanitarian situation. In this regard, Council looks forward to the renewal of MONUSCO’s mandate by the UNSC;
10. Further requests the Chairperson of the Commission to make the necessary arrangements to enable the Guarantors of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework Agreement of 24 February 2013 and the stakeholders of the Nairobi Declarations of 12 December 2013, to reactivate the various mechanisms envisaged to deal with the latest developments in security in the DRC;
11. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.
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