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Democratic Republic of Congo: Peacekeeping Operations

Volume 486: debated on Wednesday 21 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Government supports proposals to widen MONUC’s mandate to include the establishment of border-monitoring teams to check goods entering the Democratic Republic of Congo. (246305)

We fully support the mandate of the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), which was renewed by UN Security Council resolution 1856 (2008) on 22 December 2008. The mandate includes provisions for the mission to inspect without notice aircraft and any transport vehicle using the ports, airports and border crossings into North and South Kivu and Ituri. It also requires MONUC to use its monitoring capacities to curtail the provision of support to illegal armed groups derived from the illicit trade in natural resources.

Recent events in the DRC demonstrate that poor governance of natural resources can act as a significant contributing factor to the resurgence of violence. It is important that DRC’s mineral wealth is brought under legitimate control, both as a source of much-needed revenue for the state and to restrict financial support to illegal armed groups.