DRC - EP 1

Duration: 28-Jul-2003 to 18-Apr-2005

With the adoption of UNSCR 1493 (28 July 2003) an arms embargo was imposed on all foreign armed groups operating in the eastern region of the DRC and on the non-signatories of the Global and All Inclusive Peace Agreement (GPA) of 2002 that created a power sharing transitional government (for 1 year). UNSCR 1533 (12 March 2004) created a Sanctions Committee and a Group of Experts (GoE) and authorized MONUC to enforce the arms embargo. UNSCR 1552 (27 July 2004) renewed the arms embargo for another year and re-established the Group of Experts.


Coerce belligerents to sign and implement the GPA (hold elections) and cease hostilities in the eastern Congo.


Constrain the capacity of all parties to engage in violence (peace enforcement).


Signal support for peace enforcement to parties to the conflict.


Arms imports embargo on all armed groups and militias operating in North and South Kivu and Ituri, as well as groups in DRC not party to the Global and All-inclusive agreement.

No individual sanctions imposed.

Potential scope of impact


UN sanctions can have some non-discriminating impact on the general population, since they include arms embargoes, diplomatic sanctions, and/or restrictions on the conduct of particular activities or the export of specific commodities.

Sanctions were imposed for a limited time period (1 year) and periodically renewed. Sanctions Committee and Group of Experts created 8 months after sanctions imposition. Enforcement authorities specified, PKO had enforcement role.



Policy outcome

No evidence of any belligerents agreeing to sign the GPA.

Sanctions contribution

Sanctions co-existed with MONUC (UN PKO) and GPA (diplomatic efforts).



Policy outcome

Some mid-level combatants deserted the rebel groups and there was a general reduction in levels of armed violence (although the war had ended, the region was already awash in arms and armed violence continued in many local areas).

Sanctions contribution

Given statements from combatants who felt threatened by the embargo and joined government forces, but the existence of the peace agreement and end of the war also played important roles (even though local armed violence continued).



Policy outcome

Peace enforcement and cessation of hostilities were clearly signaled and some stigmatization of the target through GoE reports; also increased awareness of sanctions regime by regional actors.

Sanctions contribution

Sanctions appeared necessary, but not sufficient, and there was some acknowledgement by the target.



Decline in the credibility and/or legitimacy of UN Security Council, rise of new militias.



  • Imposes arms imports embargo to DRC (1 year), including assistance, advice, or training related to military activities, on all armed groups and militias operating in North and South Kivu and Ituri and on groups in DRC not party to the Global and All-inclusive agreement.
  • Specifies arms imports embargo exemptions for MONUC, Interim Emergency Multinational Force (Bunia) and integrated Congolese national army and police forces, as well as humanitarian and protective use (with prior Special Representative notification).


  • Extends and modifies MONUC mandate (1 year), reconfigures its personnel and authorizes it to assist the Government of National Unity and Transition in disarming and demobilizing rebels participating in DDR.
  • Sets sanctions review (1 year).



  • Authorizes states in Interim Emergency Multinational Force (in Bunia after 01.09.2003) to provide assistance to MONUC if it requests them to do so.



  • Authorizes MONUC to seize, collect, and dispose of arms and related materiel in DRC violating UNSCR 1493 arms imports embargo.


  • Establishes Sanctions Committee and specifies its mandate.
  • Establishes Group of Experts (until 28.07.2004) and specifies its mandate.
  • Requests MS reporting.



  • Renews UNSCR 1493 arms imports embargo and related exemptions (1 year).


  • Re-establishes UNSCR 1533 Group of Experts (until 31.01.2005).
  • Sets sanctions review (by 01.10.2004, thereafter periodically).



  • Extends and modifies MONUC mandate and increases its personnel (until 31.03.2005).
  • Requests Secretary-General to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct and exploitation by MUNOC personnel.