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Only Security Council can change DRC arms notification regime: UN

UN spokesman Farhan Haq. File Photo

United Nations | Xinhua | Only the Security Council but not the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) can change arms shipment notification rules, a UN spokesman said on Monday.

“The UN mission in the DRC has no role in establishing or modifying the notification regime; this is the sole purview of the Security Council,” said Farhan Haq, the deputy spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

There had been complaints in Kinshasa that the mission – known as MONUSCO – could change the notification regulations.

Haq said that since March 2008, the DRC government has not been subject to a Security Council arms embargo and has been able to import any weapons and ammunition. However, the notification regime says exporting states and arms suppliers must notify the council’s sanctions committee of supplying weapons and training to the DRC beforehand.

In September, Jean-Michel Dumont, MONUSCO Political Affairs Officer, explained that notification regulations only apply to small arms, light weapons and ammunition and not heavy weaponry such as tanks and aircraft. The country sought notification on weapons identification to ensure traceability to determine how they would have arrived in-country and get into the hands of armed groups.

Several rebel groups operate in the DRC, especially in the east of the country, the most notable of which is the M23 militia.


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