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Security Council renews mandate of expert group on DR of Congo arms embargo

31 January 2006 Expressing its determination to enforce the weapons ban it has imposed on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the United Nations Security Council today asked Secretary-General Kofi Annan to appoint a successor expert panel to monitor illicit arms imports, as well as travel bans and assets freezes on all violators.

By a unanimously adopted resolution, the Council said the four-member group should be chosen within 30 days. It also renewed the panel’s mandate through July.

The Security Council first imposed the embargo on DRC in July 2003 and expanded it in 2004 and 2005, adding the travel bans and assets freezes.

Council resolutions mandate the experts to analyze information on arms flows gathered by the UN Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) and by countries, while recommending ways of improving the ability of States, especially those in the region, to comply with the embargo.

The most recent resolution, passed last month, also asked the group to help identify the political and military leaders of foreign armed groups in the country who impede the disarmament and voluntary repatriation or resettlement of fighters, as well as those leaders of Congolese militias receiving support from outside DRC.

It spotlighted, in particular, those operating in the eastern district of Ituri, who have blocked their combatants from participating in the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration processes.

The Council also reaffirmed its demand that all parties and all States cooperate fully with the work of the expert group, ensure the safety of panel members and facilitate the unhindered and immediate access to people, documents and sites deemed relevant to executing the mandate.



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