Security Situation in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo

Press Statement
Victoria Nuland
Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
November 20, 2012

The United States is gravely alarmed by the rapid deterioration of the security situation in eastern DRC. We condemn the renewed military campaign by the M23 rebel group, which is an affront to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the DRC and in violation of international law. We call for a ceasefire, and for the M23 to return Goma to DRC authorities and pull back to their July positions.

We call upon all states to use their influence on the M23 to bring about an immediate end to the hostilities. We urge Presidents Kabila, Kagame, and Museveni to engage in a direct and honest dialogue in pursuit of a political resolution to the immediate hostilities. We believe it is critical that any resolution to the crisis include holding the M23 leadership accountable for their human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law.

We underscore our support for the UN Security Council’s November 17 statement. We support the Council’s call for additional sanctions against the M23 leadership and its demand that any and all outside support and supplying of equipment to the M23 cease immediately.

We underscore the importance of a long-term solution to the instability in the eastern DRC. A durable solution will require security sector reform in the DRC and political dialogue with Rwanda and Uganda and the other relevant states in the region to address the root causes of the crisis.

PRN: 2012/1827