China calls for immediate end to armed violence in DRC

Li Jiayao
2024-07-09 20:50:24

UNITED NATIONS, July 8 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese envoy on Monday called for efforts to push for the cessation of fighting to end the violence among armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Geng Shuang, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, delivered a statement at the Security Council briefing on the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC, commonly known as MONUSCO, emphasizing the urgency to address the conflict in the country.

"Last month, the new government of the DRC was inaugurated smoothly, unveiling a new chapter in the country's governance," he said. "China welcomes this. We look forward to all parties in the country uniting as one and accelerating nation-building with the government's National Action Plan as the blueprint to achieve peace and stability."

Addressing the recent violence, Geng noted, "In the past three months alone, over 500 civilians were killed by armed groups, 7.3 million forcibly displaced."

He condemned the attack on a Chinese company located in the DRC on July 3, which resulted in several deaths and disappearances of Chinese citizens. "China strongly condemns such an act, and we urge that the perpetrators be immediately arrested and held accountable by law."

Geng urged all armed groups in the DRC to "lay down weapons and withdraw from occupied areas immediately."

He commended the DRC government for concluding ceasefire agreements with multiple armed groups and engaging in bilateral security cooperation with Uganda and Burundi. "A pilot (disarmament, demobilization and reintegration) DDR project in North Kivu was also completed. Such progress deserves full recognition," he said.

Highlighting the importance of respecting the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of the DRC, Geng called on the international community to "assist constructively in its efforts to maintain security and stability and improve the humanitarian situation, so as to promote an early settlement of the eastern DRC issue."

Geng also addressed the need for regional de-escalation. "There has been growing divergence and discord among regional countries on the issue of the eastern DRC," he noted, citing the UN secretary-general's concern over the risk of regionalization of the conflict. "China calls on the countries concerned to remain calm and exercise restraint and settle differences through dialogue rather than military means."

Geng praised Angola for facilitating the meeting of foreign ministers of the DRC and Rwanda in March and encouraged regional countries and organizations to "play a bigger part in advancing the Luanda and Nairobi processes."

Geng expressed hope that Bintou Keita, the UN secretary-general's special representative for the DRC, would maintain coordination with the UN secretary-general's special envoy for the Great Lakes region, Xia Huang, to continue to work for peace talks.

Geng addressed the drawdown process of MONUSCO. "The mission has successfully withdrawn from South Kivu last month," he said, urging the UN system to "assist peacebuilding and consolidation efforts in South Kivu."

He emphasized the need for MONUSCO to "stay engaged with the DRC Government to ensure a safe and orderly drawdown process."

Regarding the recent attacks against MONUSCO, Geng called for "a greater sense of urgency and more effective measures by the relevant actors to ensure the safety of peacekeepers."

He acknowledged the engagement of the Southern African Development Community in peacekeeping activities in the eastern DRC and supported "reasonable adjustment of MONUSCO's mandate to ensure its coordination and complementarity with regional forces."

Geng concluded by expressing China's readiness to "participate constructively in the council's deliberations on supporting regional forces."  

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