United Nations Must Re-Impose Arms Embargo on DRC Government Forces

According to a UN Panel of Expert’s report released last Friday, government security forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are providing arms and ammunition to the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda (FDLR) in violation of the UN arms embargo on DRC.  In addition, the DRC government continues to be a major source of weapons for other armed groups in the DRC.

Congolese refugees at the DRC/Uganda border in Ishasha

Congolese refugees at the DRC/Uganda border in Ishasha

Mainly a Rwandan Hutu armed insurgent group that contains remnants of forces allegedly responsible for the 1994 Rwandan genocide, FDLR has been responsible for mass atrocities, including the unlawful killings of civilians, abductions, and rape, and continues to fuel devastation in the DRC.  The DRC government, FDLR, and mayi-mayi militias are fighting against the rebel armed group, the National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP), which has also committed grave human rights violations.

The UN Security Council is set to review the Panel’s report tomorrow, which includes additional evidence of the Rwandan government providing military support to the CNDP, including the provision of child soldiers.  The report also shows that the U.S. government has failed to notify the UN Peacekeeping Mission in DRC (MONUC) of its efforts to train DRC government forces as required by paragraph 5 of UN Resolution 1807 (2008).

In March 2008, Amnesty appealed to the UN Security Council not to ease the arms embargo on supplies to non-integrated DRC government army brigades anywhere in the DRC and brigades going through integration in the east of the country.  However, the Council eased this part of the embargo among other import restrictions.  The consequences of the relaxation of the embargo have been very damaging.

Tomorrow, the UN Security Council has an opportunity to remedy this past decision.  As such, in order to prevent diversion from official DRC holdings, all transfers to DRC government units deployed in eastern DRC should be made by prior arrangement under MONUC supervision among several other critical factors that the UN Security Council should adopt.

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2 thoughts on “United Nations Must Re-Impose Arms Embargo on DRC Government Forces

  1. This is an Interesting Development. We have Heard that the Government of the DRC has been the Fair Player when it came to the Militias that are active in the Eastern Part of the Country.

    General Nkunda has not been a Person of Virtue in this Situation. However the Actions of the Kabila Government may give him some form of Legitimacy in His Grievances. The UN wants to have the Peacekeepers to have an Increased Role in the East of the Country. But it has to take care of affairs in Kinshasa as well.

  2. This is an Interesting Development. We have Heard that the Government of the DRC has been the Fair Player when it came to the Militias that are active in the Eastern Part of the Country.

    General Nkunda has not been a Person of Virtue in this Situation. However the Actions of the Kabila Government may give him some form of Legitimacy in His Grievances. The UN wants to have the Peacekeepers to have an Increased Role in the East of the Country. But it has to take care of affairs in Kinshasa as well.