Saturday, December 1, 2012

Security Council Extends Arms Embargo and Other Sanctions Against Rebel Groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

United Nations Security Council LogoThe United Nations Security Council has extended the arms embargo and other sanctions imposed against armed rebel groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), while expressing its intention to consider additional targeted sanctions against the leadership of the M23, the rebel fighters that recently occupied the eastern provincial capital of Goma.

In a unanimously adopted resolution, the Council extended until 1 February 2014, the sanctions that were first introduced in 2003 as the DRC reached the end of a brutal civil war that engulfed the vast country on and off for five years and is estimated to have killed as many as five million people.

The sanctions comprise an arms embargo against armed groups that are not part of the Government’s integrated army or police units following the end of the civil war, and also a travel ban and asset freeze against individuals or entities that have violated the embargo or are otherwise designated.

The Council also requested Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to renew the mandate of the group of experts monitoring these measures until 1 February 2014.

The resolution also contained strong condemnation of the M23 soldiers, who mutinied from the DRC national army in April, and which occupied Goma, the capital of North Kivu, last week after launching a new wave of attacks that have uprooted more than 140,000 civilians.

The Council demanded that the M23 and other armed groups “cease immediately all forms of violence and other destabilizing activities” and reiterated its demand that any and all outside support to the M23 stop without delay. It also expressed its intention to consider additional targeted sanctions against the M23 leadership, those providing external support to the group, and those who violate the sanctions regime and the arms embargo. 

(Adapted from a UN press release)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/international_law/2012/12/drc.html

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