Press Releases Statement by Belgium on the occasion of the publication of the final report of the United Nations Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Statement by Belgium on the occasion of the publication of the final report of the United Nations Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Belgium is extremely concerned by the conclusion of the final report of the United Nations Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which highlights the seriousness of the violations and abuses of human rights and the violations of international humanitarian law committed in Eastern DRC, as well as the continuing deterioration of the security situation. There are more than 7 million internally displaced people (IDP) in the DRC, almost 80% of them as a result of the reigning insecurity and violence. The scale of sexual and gender-based violence, including the sexual exploitation of women and girls in IDP camps, attacks on IDP camps and the recruitment of children are shocking and must stop immediately. It is also very worrying to see an increase in illegal economic activities, as well as the trafficking and illegal exploitation of the DRC’s natural resources. The perpetrators of all these crimes and violations must be brought to justice.


The report of the Group of Experts clearly documents the various forms of Rwanda’s active support for the armed group M23 and the politico-military platform Alliance Fleuve Congo, through the massive presence of the Rwandan Defence Forces (RDF) on Congolese territory and the de facto control of military operations by the RDF. The report also describes the growing territorial hold of Rwanda and the M23 on DRC territory, as well as the establishment of an illegal civil administration in the territories where the M23 is present. Belgium strongly condemns these actions, which are in breach of the principles of the United Nations Charter and constitute blatant violations of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the DRC. It urges Rwanda to put an immediate end to its military operations in the east of the DRC and to withdraw its troops and armaments; it also urges the M23 to cease atrocities against the civilian population.


The report also indicates the continuing collaboration on the ground between the FARDC and illegal armed groups, including the FDLR. Belgium urges the Congolese authorities to effectively and decisively put an end to any type of cooperation with these armed groups. Belgium condemns the abuses perpetrated by all armed groups in the DRC against the civilian population. They must cease hostilities and engage in demobilisation, disarmament and reintegration processes.


Belgium calls on all parties to engage resolutely in the diplomatic processes initiated at regional level. A political solution must be found in order to achieve peace and security in Eastern DRC. The root causes of insecurity and instability must be tackled in order to bolster prospects for stability and regional cooperation. In this respect, Belgium expresses its active support for Angola’s efforts within the framework of the Luanda process. It also expresses its full support for the humanitarian truce concluded under the aegis of the United States to enable humanitarian actors to provide the necessary support to the populations affected by the conflict. They call on all parties to ensure that the truce is respected and to continue on this basis their efforts to put an end to this devastating conflict.

Finally, Belgium would like to reiterate its appreciation for the valuable work carried out by the Group of Experts, in accordance with the mandate granted by the United Nations Security Council. Belgium calls on all parties and entities identified in the report to support the work of the Group of Experts on the DRC by taking effective measures to follow up and implement the recommendations of their report. It is crucial that the Group of Experts be able to continue its work freely and without hindrance

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