DRC crisis: Civil society leaders urge UN Security Council to act

Over 50 leading civil society and peacebuilding organisations are urging members of the United Nations Security Council to act on the ongoing crisis in eastern DRC ahead of December’s presidential elections.

Nearly a million people have been displaced by the conflict in 2023 alone. Sexual and gender-based violence is widespread. The presence of armed groups and the unabated flow of arms are contributing to a highly precarious and volatile situation.

With elections scheduled for 20 December, there are serious concerns that the crisis could deteriorate into disaster. Intimidation and insecurity raise frustrations and threaten the credibility of the elections in the eastern provinces.

The UN Security Council has made efforts to support peace processes, but these have stalled. The signatories to the open letter, which include 39 DRC national NGOs and 18 INGOS including International Alert, Oxfam and Action Aid, call on the Security Council members to urgently:

  • press regional stakeholders to prioritise peace over short-term political interests;
  • make peace processes genuinely inclusive of civil society, in particular women, young people and people living in the eastern provinces;
  • guarantee international support for peacebuilding alongside humanitarian responses; and
  • ensure that civil society is consulted in the process of the MONUSCO withdrawal.

Nic Hailey, International Alert Executive Director, said:

“The conflict in eastern DRC has fallen off the world’s radar. Its impact on millions of people is devastating, and there is a real risk of further escalation with elections this month.

“Many of those in power across the region benefit from this crisis, and from the conflict economy it has spawned. This must stop, and urgently. UN Security Council members need to put the needs and voices of the people of eastern DRC at the top of their agenda, and take the actions needed to support peace.”

Notes to editors

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The full list of signatory organisations is as follows:

  • Action Aid International  
  • Action pour le Développement des Milieux Ruraux (ADMR)  
  • Action Solidaire pour la Paix (ASP)  
  • Acudi Peace and Gender  
  • AFIA MAMA Asbl
  • Aide et Action pour la Paix (AAP)  
  • Bureau de Soutien pour la Consolidation de la Paix en RDC
  • Caucus des Femmes
  • Centre Résolution Conflits  
  • Children of Congo Foundation (CCF)  
  • Congolese Family for Joy (CFJ) 
  • Cordaid  
  • Deutsche Welthungerhilfe e. V. (WHH)
  • Dynamique des Organisations pour le Bien (DOBS) – network with 300 members 
  • Fondation Chirezi   
  • Forum de Paix de Beni 
  • Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS) UK 
  • Give Directly  
  • Habari RDC 
  • HIVE  
  • Idée Géniale
  • Initiative pour un Leadership Cohésif (ILC)
  • International Alert
  • Justice Plus
  • L’Association pour un Développement Communautaire Intégré (ADCI)
  • La Dynamic des Femmes Juristes (DFJ)  
  • Laissez L’Afrique Vivre (LAV) 
  • Le BVES (Bureau pour le Volontariat au service de l’Enfance et de la Santé)
  • Le Cadre Provincial de Plaidoyer pour la Paix du Nord-Kivu – network with 45 members 
  • Le Guichet d’Economie Locale du Sud-Kivu (GEL Sud-Kivu)  
  • Le Réseau Congolais des Artisans de Paix (RECAP)
  • Le Réseau des Cadres de Concertation Intercommunautaire (RCCI)
  • Life and Peace Institute  
  • National Partnership for Children and Youth in Peacebuilding (NPCYP) 
  • Nobel Women’s Initiative  
  • Observatoire Gouvernance et Paix (OGP) 
  • Oxfam  
  • Peace Direct  
  • People in Need 
  • Pole Institute  
  • Réseau des Associations Congolaises des Jeunes (RACOJ) Sud-Kivu  
  • Réseau d’Associations pour la promotion des Droits de la Femme (RAPDFEM) – network with 20 members
  • Réseau des Femmes Ambassadrices et Médiatrices des Territoires pour la Paix (REFAM-TP) – network with 55 members 
  • Réseau D’Innovation Organisationelle (RIO) 
  • Sauti ya Mama Mukongomani (SMM) 
  • Save Communities in Conflicts  
  • Search For Common Ground  
  • Service, Par, Pour et Avec les Femmes (SEPPAF)  
  • Solidarite des Femmes de Fizi pour le Bien-Etre Familial (SOFIBEF) 
  • Solidarité des Volontaires pour l’Humanité (SVH)  
  • Solidarité Féminine pour la paix et le développement intégral (SOFEPADI) 
  • Tearfund  
  • Trócaire  
  • Umoja in Action  
  • Union des Juristes Engagés pour les Opprimés, la Paix et le Développement (UJEOPAD)  
  • War Child  
  • Women for Women International  
  • Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) UK