The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 19 April 2023.
Statement by Ambassador Kariuki at the Security Council meeting on the situation in the Great Lakes region.
Thank you, President. I will focus on the situation in eastern DRC and regional processes to end the conflict.
The United Kingdom remains deeply concerned by intensifying violence and the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Great Lakes region, particularly in eastern DRC. We strongly condemn the continuing violence by all armed groups, including the UN-sanctioned M23 armed group. In the limited areas from which they have withdrawn, the horrors perpetrated by M23 are gradually being exposed, with allegations of mass rapes and summary killings.
The redeployment of resources to tackle M23 has also undermined the protection of civilians elsewhere. There have recently been horrifying accounts of executions and attacks on civilians by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) and CODECO. We call for comprehensive investigations into allegations of human rights and international humanitarian law abuses by armed groups and for those responsible to be held accountable. All support to these non-state armed actors must stop.
President, we reiterate our full support for regional diplomatic efforts, including the Nairobi and Luanda processes, which promote de-escalation and aim to create the conditions for lasting peace in the region. We are making a financial contribution to the Nairobi process to this end. We urge all parties to respect commitments made under these processes, including the withdrawal of M23, to end of all support of armed groups, and to stop the use of incendiary hate speech. We welcome Special Envoy Xia’s support to these processes and encourage increased engagement as the conflict worsens.
We welcome M23’s handing over of some locations to the EAC Regional Force, but any withdrawal must be complete and in line with the agreed process through the Luanda roadmap. We hope the forthcoming Angolan troop deployment will help reinforce this withdrawal.
President, there is only one way out of this conflict. The violence must stop to give dialogue and peace a chance to succeed. The United Kingdom calls upon countries in the region, members of this Council, and Special Envoy Xia to intensify efforts to de-escalate the situation, improve regional cooperation, address security challenges, improve humanitarian access, and bring peace to the Great Lakes region.