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WAR ZONE: UN Security Council Lifts Arms Purchase Ban On DR Congo

The United Nations Security Council on Tuesday ended the arms purchase ban on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), freeing the country’s military to buy new weapons without having to seek permission from the global body’s sanctions committee.

The unanimous decision also extended the mandate of the UN Stabilisation Mission in the Congo — commonly referred to by its French acronym Monusco — by a year to December 2023. Monusco will now have a pre-written working relationship with the East African Community Regional Force (EACRF) and the armed forces of the Congo (FARDC) to defeat armed groups.

But it is the unbanning of the weapons purchase that was crucial.

For years, Kinshasa was required by the Council to first notify the sanctions committee of weapons it intends to buy, eliminating an element of surprise on armed groups who were usually armed better than the national forces. DRC had been under an arms embargo, with the argument that allowing it a free hand to buy weapons was fuelling conflict as some of the arms bought were leaking to the many armed groups in the eastern parts of the country.

On Tuesday, the UN Security Council ended the prior notification procedure for the purchase of arms and military equipment by the DRC.



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