New York, US - UN Special Representative in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Mr. Martin Kobler, has urged rebel fighters in the country to 'surrender without delay' and join the disarmament process or face consequences.
In a statement on Wednesday obtained by PANA in New York, Mr. Kobler said: 'I urge all the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebels to immediately break away from their leaders who are being prosecuted by justice, otherwise they will be forcibly disarmed.'
He asked the rebels to join the disarmament, demobilization, repatriation, reinsertion and reintegration (DDRRR) process.
Mr. Kobler also welcomed the launch of the Congolese Armed Forces’ (FARDC) new operations against the FDLR and affiliated armed groups.
'The offensive is supported by MONUSCO, which last year was authorized by the UN Security Council to deploy an intervention brigade to carry out targeted offensive operations, with or without FARDC, against armed groups threatening peace in eastern DRC.
'The operations aim to neutralize the FDLR and their allies. They will also help reestablish State authority, in accordance with our mandate to protect civilians and our rules of engagement,' Mr. Kobler stated.
The Security Council has mandated the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) to support Congolese authorities to protect civilians, neutralize armed groups, and implement key reforms to consolidate peace in the country, particularly in the area of security sector reform and rule of law.
The DRC has been torn apart by civil wars and factional fighting since it became independent from Belgium in 1960, but with the support of a series of UN missions a measure of stability has been restored to much of the vast country over the past decade.