The following Security Council press statement was read out today by Council President Vitaly Churkin (Russian Federation):
The members of the Security Council expressed their outrage at the recent case of mass rape in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo allegedly perpetrated by elements of the Front Démocratique de Libération du Rwanda (FDLR) and Mai Mai.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their demand that all parties to armed conflict immediately cease completely all forms of sexual violence and all human rights abuses against the civilian population of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in particular gender-based violence including rape and other forms of sexual abuse.
The members of the Security Council recalled that it is of the utmost importance that the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo continues to pursue its efforts to fight impunity. They called upon the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to swiftly investigate these attacks and ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the Secretary-General's decision to dispatch immediately Assistant Secretary-General Atul Khare, Officer-in-Charge of the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations to the DRC to consult with relevant national authorities, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the DRC and United Nations personnel on the ground, to ascertain to the fullest extent possible the facts and circumstances surrounding this incident and to assess what more could be done in order to ensure more effective protection of civilians. They also welcomed the Secretary-General's instruction to his Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Margot Wallström, to coordinate the United Nations response and follow-up on this incident.
The members of the Security Council demanded that all possible steps should be taken to prevent such outrages in the future.
The members of the Security Council intend to be briefed by Mr. A. Khare and Ms. M. Wallström on their findings.