ANKARA 

The UN Security Council has adopted a resolution extending sanctions on the Democratic Republic of Congo until July 1, 2021, amid urgent humanitarian needs in the country due to violence.

In a videoconference meeting on Thursday, the resolution imposed an arms embargo on armed groups in the country, a travel ban on individuals and asset freeze on individuals and entities designated by the sanctions committee.

It also extended the mandate of a Group of Experts tasked with assisting in the oversight of those measures until Aug. 1, 2021.

The Security Council “reaffirmed a stipulation that the sanctions do not apply to the supply, sale or transfer of arms — and the provision of any assistance, advice or training — intended for the military activities of the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or to support the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) and the African Union Regional Task Force.”

Attacks on civilians have mounted in recent months in the eastern DRC, triggering protests against the UN peacekeeping force, MONUSCO, for failing to protect the people.

The army launched an offensive in January against militias operating in the gold-rich province of Ituri as part of a wider offensive launched last October.

Most of the attacks in the region are blamed on the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC), the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), and Cooperative for Development of Congo (CODECO) insurgent groups.

“In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, millions of people have to flee their home in search of safety. Numbers will keep rising as long as international humanitarian law is not fully respected.

“We must ensure that internally displaced people are protected as much as possible from the effects of conflict and get access to shelter, hygiene, health, safety and nutrition,” said Rachel Bernhard, ICRC’s head of delegation in the DRC said last month.

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