December 23, 2009

The Security Council extended on Wednesday MONUC’s mandate in the Democratic republic of Congo until May 31, 2010. The 15 members of the UN body unanimously adopted resolution 1906 calling on peacekeepers to “use all necessary measures” to protect civilians.

The resolution asks the Secretary-General to conduct a strategic review of the situation in the DRC and MONUC’s progress toward achieving its mandate and to determine, in close cooperation with the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and MONUC, the modalities of a reconfiguration of MONUC’s mandate.

Resolution 1906 “demands that all armed groups, in particular the Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda (FDLR) and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), immediately cease all forms of violence and human rights abuse against the civilian population in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in particular gender-based violence, including rape and other forms of sexual abuse.”

The Security Council asked the Congolese government to “ensure the full implementation of its “zero-tolerance policy” with respect to discipline and human rights violations, including sexual and gender-based violence, committed by elements of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC)” and urged that “all reports of such violations be thoroughly investigated, with the support of MONUC, and that all those responsible be brought to justice through a robust and independent process.”

The resolution also asked “the Secretary-General to continue to fully investigate the allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by civilian and military personnel of MONUC, and to take the appropriate measures set out in the Secretary-General’s bulletin on special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.”