Việt Nam calls for greater efforts to protect civilians in DR Congo, condemns Indonesia church bombing

March 31, 2021 - 11:06
The conference focused on the operation of the UN Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and on recent developments in the country.


People attend a UN Security Council videoconference held on March 30. VNA/VNS Photo

NEW YORK —  Vietnamese Ambassador Đặng Đình Quý called for greater efforts to protect civilians in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) at a UN Security Council videoconference on Tuesday (US time).

The conference focused on the operation of the UN Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and on recent developments in the country.

Quý, Permanent Representative of Việt Nam to the UN, shared the concerns of other representatives of the UNSC member states over security and humanitarian challenges facing the DRC, particularly increasing violence between communities and complicated developments of the COVID-19 pandemic and Ebola in the country.

He expressed his condolences to the Italian government, the World Food Programme (WFP), and the families of victims of the February 22 attack on a WFP convoy in the northeast of Goma. The Italian ambassador to the DRC, Luca Attanasio, was among three killed.

The diplomat underscored the importance of addressing the root causes of conflicts by enhancing the role of the state, overhauling security work, and developing the economy.

It is also important to strengthen regional co-operation and increase assistance from the UN and the international community, he added.

MONUSCO’s support, especially in terms of protecting civilians and strengthening state institutions, remains extremely important amid persisting violence in the DRC’s eastern regions, the diplomat noted, saying hard-won achievements must be preserved by ensuring a conditions-based transition of the mission.

At the meeting, the head of MONUSCO Bintou Keita, the first time in her new capacity, briefed the council on the situation in the country and on progress by MONUSCO towards implementing its mandate.

Keita was appointed as head of MONUSCO on January 15.

She reported that MONUSCO is expanding work with the United Nations country team as it prepares to close its field offices in the Kasaï region in June, and in the province of Tanganyika in 2022. 

However, MONUSCO is not yet able to consider its withdrawal from North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri provinces due to extremely serious security and protection challenges, she said.

"Terrorist act’ on Indonesian church

Also on Tuesday, in another discussion, the UNSC has condemned a recent bombing at an Indonesian church in Makassar city as a “cowardly terrorist attack.”

In a press statement, proposed by Việt Nam, the UNSC called for the perpetrators, organisers, financiers and sponsors to be held accountable.

It denounced the attack as a “reprehensible” act of terrorism and reiterated that “any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation.”

The council reaffirmed the need for all countries to combat “threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.”

Two suicide bombers detonated explosives outside a Catholic church in the Indonesian city of Makassar on March 28, wounding at least 20 people on the first day of the Easter Holy Week, police said.

The two suspects were the only fatalities. They are believed to have been members of the armed group Jemaah Anshorut Daulah. — VNS