28 September 2023
I would like to start by thanking SRSG Keita for her briefing and work the mission does, as well as Ambassador Biang for his briefing on the 1533 Cttee activities. We welcome the participation in this meeting of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Lutundula of the DRC and of the representative of Rwanda.
I would also like to thank Ms. Modi for her remarks and for sharing the suffering of all the victims of sexual violence who cannot speak, of all the survivors who deserve justice and a second chance for a decent life.
It is important that we support efforts to confront the dramatic surge in sexual violence targeting displaced women and girls, including those who live in IDP camps.
I will now focus on the political and security situation, as well as MONUSCO.
Albania is encouraged by the commitment to the electoral calendar and preparations for the 20 December elections, and by the efforts to ensure a transparent and inclusive process for all parties, including women.
We hope to see the same commitment by the Government to addressing several concerns and shedding light on electoral incidents, including the shrinking of civic space as documented in the SG report.
Turning to the security developments, we all share the same concerns about the volatile situation in the eastern DRC.
We should have no false impressions; ADF and CODECO remain a constant terror for civilians. Moreover, we are cautiously monitoring the holding of the ceasefire between M23 and the Congolese Armed Forces.
The increased clashes between M23 and armed groups and the unstable relations between the DRC and Rwanda could disrupt the Region’s geo-political architecture.
To avoid this it is important all parties commit themselves to the regional peace processes, namely by implementing the Nairobi and Luanda processes.
Rwanda and the DRC have the responsibility of giving peace a chance to grow stronger by ending support for and cooperation with local armed groups.
All Congolese and foreign armed groups must cease their hostilities, and M23 must effectively withdraw from its occupied positions and join demobilization and disarmament process as agreed upon in Luanda and in respect of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the DRC.
Turning now to MONUSCO’s transition, Albania has taken note of the DRC’s request for an accelerated withdrawal of the Mission.
Albania supports the efforts of the United Nations to finalize – in cooperation and in line with the aspirations of the DRC – the revised Joint Transition Plan.
Given the December elections and the security fragility in the east, the finalization should guarantee both an orderly withdrawal and, at the same time, an extension of State Authority and its ability to protect civilians.
Last, I would like to convey Albania’s sincere condolences to the Congolese Authorities and people for the loss of lives following the 30th of August events in Goma. It is an absolute right of the people to gather – but peacefully, and an obligation of the Authorities to respond proportionally to acts of violence. In this vein, we welcome the Government’s announcement that this incident is under investigation and a trial has begun – the results of which should be thorough and impartial.