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23 December 2009 - Democratic Republic of Congo - Interview given by Nicolas de Rivière, Chargé d’affaires a.i. of France to the United Nations, to Radio France Internationale

(Translated from French)

Conditions have been applied to UN support for the Congolese army troops; why were these changes made to the resolution? And what is your response to Congolese criticisms stating that "we are the victims, the UN should not be imposing conditions on its assistance"?

First of all, I think that we should welcome the fact that the Security Council has unanimously decided to renew MONUC’s mandate. That is very important. The mandate refocuses attention on the protection of civilians, which remains the priority of the Security Council and the international community.

The mandate also refocuses attention on disarmament, demobilization and on the reform the security sector. The mandate was extended for five months and responds to a Congolese demand; June is the anniversary of independence and President Kabila wanted to be able to discuss the mandate again at that time. The ball is also in the court of the Congolese authorities since they are expected to undertake certain actions and measures that will allow MONUC’s mandate to evolve.

If you are referring to the operations carried out over the last few weeks and months, the Kimia II operations will come to an end on December 31 which we welcome. The fight against the FDLR will continue through other means from the beginning of 2010.

But why have these conditions been applied to MONUC’s support for the Congolese army?

Actions by MONUC, the United Nations and the international community must be beyond reproach: it was vital for MONUC to be able to operate in an entirely impartial and exemplary manner. That is exactly why the mandate was reviewed, and attention refocused on its key task: the protection of civilians.

Could that make the fight against the FDLR more difficult?

No, this is also a political solution: MONUC will play its full role, but we must be able to take collective action and fight against the FDLR.

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Organisation des Nations Unies Présidence de la République France Diplomatie La France à l'Office des Nations Unies à Genève Union Européenne Première réunion de l'ONU