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Security Council extends arms embargo in DR of Congo

18 April 2005 Calling the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) a continuing threat to international peace and security, the United Nations Security Council today extended an arms and military financing embargo to "any recipient" in the country and it froze the assets of sanctions violators as the UN peacekeeping mission carried out cordon and search operations.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan should establish again, within 30 days, a Group of Experts to monitor the embargo until 31 July, adding a fifth expert on financial matters, the Council said in a unanimously approved resolution.

Neighbouring States must monitor aircraft and their pilots, especially in the eastern DRC districts of the Kivus and Ituri, especially by verifying the validity of documents carried for the aircraft and pilots' licences and by maintaining a registry of flights.

The DRC and its neighbours should report to the Council's Sanctions Committee any aircraft not operated according to the 1944 Convention on International Aviation or the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), "in particular with respect to falsified or out-of-date documents," and maintain a ban on them and their pilots until they fell into line.

The regional Governments should also ensure that only customs airports were used for international flights, it said, calling on them to report back in 45 days on how they had implemented the resolution.

The Council made exemptions for the Transitional Government, under certain circumstances, and for the UN Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC).

By 31 July the Council would review the progress accomplished in the peace process and the political transition, it said.

Meanwhile, MONUC said its peacekeeping troops in Ituri were carrying out a cordon and search operation in Katoto, northeast of the city of province's main city of Bunia.

The peacekeepers came under fire but were able to dismantle two militia camps in the area. There were casualties and, while militia members appeared to have fled, the peacekeepers were able to seize ammunition supplies and were continuing the operation, MONUC said.

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