UN Clears Air Over Arm Embargo In DR Congo

MONUSCO clarified the misinformation in the media that it placed an embargo on the DR Congo army, explaining that the embargo was for armed groups, not FARDC.

The United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) on Wednesday, March 9, explained that the United Nations Security Council embargo on arms supplies in the DR Congo was against armed groups operating in the country and not the national army, FARDC.

MONUSCO was reacting to media articles suggesting that the UN Security Council arms embargo in the DR Congo was against both the armed groups and the national army.

“The embargo regime in force actually prohibits all forms of support to armed groups operating in the DR Congo territory, but authorises the authorities of the country to acquire all the material necessary for the maintenance of order and the security of the populations and this without any restrictions,” a statement by MONUSCO explained.

It further explained that it is only the exporting country that is expected to notify the Sanctions Committee established by the Security Council of the delivery of arms to the authorities, without the necessity of getting its approbation. 

“These notifications are to ensure that the war materials sent to the DR Congo would be delivered only to the authorised destination, namely the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo and not to a militia or a destabilisation force.”

The UN military mission clarified that the objective of the embargo is “not certainly to deprive access by the authorities of the country to materials necessary for the re-establishment of state authority throughout the national territory and for a return to peace. 

“The embargo is a measure which aims at protecting the Congolese authorities with a firm prohibition of all support to armed groups.”

In March 2008, the UN Security Council adjusted and renewed sanctions earlier imposed on the DR Congo. At the same time, the embargo on arms to the government was lifted.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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