New York, 1 June 2022 (TDI): The recent resurgence of the M23 armed group in the eastern DR Congo poses a significant threat to the region’s security, stability, and peace.

There is an urgent need for actions by the UN Security Council to curb violence in the country. Assistant Secretary-General, Martha Pobee delivered these remarks for the UN’s political affairs and peace operations.

Pobee underscored the need for complete support by the Council on the ongoing regional efforts to curb the M23 insurgency and defuse the situation permanently. She highlighted that civilians are paying a heavy price due to violence in the country.

She informed the Ambassadors that DRC and Rwanda have decided to refer to a verification mechanism, EJVM (Expanded Joint Verification Mechanism), to investigate material and human damage caused by an explosion on 23 May.

Furthermore, she appreciated the EJVM which effectively resolves common security issues and stressed taking all necessary efforts to utilize available tools for investigations, including EJVM fully.

Impact of insurgency on Civilians

Meanwhile, the UN and the partner organizations have unanimously called for the M23 to cease their violent activities and join the process of disarming and demobilizing combatants.

According to the statistics by OCHA, the fight in the North Kivu province displaced 75,000 people last week. In addition, 11,577 migrated to Uganda to avoid conflict.

The instability and violent attacks in the country also injured two peacekeepers with the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission (MONUSCO) in DR Congo.

The incident resulted in serious fatalities, killing sixteen Congolese and wounding twenty-two. During earlier insurgencies and conflicts, MONUSCO extended its full support for unbiased investigation and potential prosecutions.

The head of the AU, Macky Sall, has urged the leaders of DR Congo and Rwanda to press for a fair and peaceful resolution of any disagreement.

Avoiding Humanitarian and Political Consequences

Meantime, the UN’s Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region, Huang Xia, delivered his remarks to the Security Council by videoconference in French.

He said that the situation in DRC was reminiscent of the M23’s operations nearly a decade ago when the group seized the city of Goma.

He emphasized that the council members generate a prompt response to avert escalation and other crises that can develop immeasurable humanitarian and political consequences for the region.

Security Council
The UN Envoy Haung Xia while briefing the Security Council regarding the situation in DR-Congo

In addition, Huang stressed on demilitarization of armed groups in eastern DRC through a comprehensive approach, particularly in the context of M23 resurgence and persistent insecurity.

Consequently, he stated that military operations alone would not be sufficient to underline his diplomatic efforts. He also emphasized continued high-level dialogues among regional leaders.

Likewise, he stressed the need to continue mobilizing bilateral and regional mechanisms, including ICGLR and the Nairobi Conclave political process.