Let me start once again by reiterating our deep concern for the security and humanitarian situation in eastern DRC and its regional implications.
Violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights continue to be reported, involving brutal attacks against the civilian population, including children.
We are appalled by the killings of civilians in the massacre in Kishishe village in North Kivu last week.
I would like to convey my sincere condolences to the Government and the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The violence must end. Norway condemns the actions of all armed groups. We appeal to all groups and countries to respect the territorial integrity of the DRC.
Norway welcomes and supports the regional political and diplomatic processes led by former President Kenyatta and President Lourenço, aimed at stabilising the eastern DRC, and easing tensions in the Great Lakes region.
We are encouraged to hear about the progress made.
We stress the importance of coordination between the regional processes and the efforts of the UN. Including between the MONUSCO and the East African Community Regional Force.
We welcome also the ongoing efforts to establish a coordination mechanism between these forces.
DRC has made progress regarding women’s participation.
Yet, there is potential for increased direct, and meaningful, participation.
Women must be heard and included in important political processes, including the ongoing regional peace processes.
It is the government’s responsibility ensure that women are included, and that they are not exposed to reprisals for their work.
Sanctions alone cannot solve this conflict – but they are an important tool to be used to improve the stability of the region, and the security of the population.
Sanctions are only as good as we make them – and we encourage all parties to respect the sanctions regime and to continuously strive to improve it.
We recall that designated individuals and entities should include those involved in acts that undermine peace, stability or security of the DRC, especially acts that constitute human rights violations or abuses, or violations of international humanitarian law.
MONUSCO will exit DRC. But the exit must be responsible and sustainable. The protection of civilians, including children, must remain a priority task.
To this end, it is essential that the transition process is guided by the situation on the ground, not by timelines or political considerations.
The return to peace and stability will require the commitment of all.
Norway looks forward to work with all relevant stakeholders for an inclusive and peaceful transition, and for sustainable peace in the DRC.