Skip to main content

Democratic Republic of Congo

Volume 455: debated on Thursday 25 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make representations to the UN (a) to take a stronger line on natural resource exploitation in the Democratic Republic of Congo and (b) to deal with the activities of armed groups. (111139)

We continue to support the UN's group of experts in its important role monitoring the UN arms embargo on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), including the linkages between the funding of armed groups and the exploitation of natural resources in the DRC. However, it is action by the Congolese government that will determine progress on improving natural resource management for the benefit of the Congolese people. We continue to press the authorities for action and will provide support, with international partners, where we can.

The international community has made clear in UN Security Council resolutions that civilian protection (including humanitarian personnel, under imminent threat of physical violence) is an integral part of MONUC's (the UN Mission to the DRC) Chapter VII mandate. MONUC has undertaken military operations against the Forces Democratiques de Liberation du Rwanda (FDLR) and other Congolese and foreign and Congolese militias. We continue to encourage MONUC to take a robust stance against these groups, including in support of responsible Congolese army actions. But we are also clear that the solution to the problem requires other measures as well as military pressure, including political leadership by the new government.