DRC - EP 3

Duration: 31-Mar-2008 to 28-May-2010

Following comfortable majorities for the Kabila government in two national elections, the UNSC lifted the limited arms embargo against the armed forces of the DRC (UNSCR 1807, 31 March 2008). The resumption of violence and renewed military challenges to the DRC from the Nkunda faction (CNDP), the Democractic Front for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), and the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in the eastern DRC persuaded the UNSC of the need to maintain and strengthen individual sanctions against non-integrated parties and against regional actors from Rwanda and Uganda to cease hostilities against the DRC in the eastern DRC.

A joint DRC/Rwanda offensive was launched against the Nkunda faction (CNDP) in January 2009 (ending in his arrest), followed by an offensive against the FDLR, a general amnesty offered to Congolese armed groups in the east in May 2009, and high profile arrests of FDLR leaders in Germany in November 2009. At the same time, peace processes linked to SSR and DDR were underway (the Goma and Nairobi processes), culminating in the 23 March 2009 agreements (which called for the amnesty offer to Congolese armed groups in May).

UNSCR 1807 (31 March 2008) lifted the restrictive measures of the arms embargo against the DRC government, while UNSCR 1857 (22 December 2008) extended restrictive measures to individuals supporting non-integrated parties through the exploitation of natural resources.


Coerce non-integrated parties to cease hostilities (to consolidate the authority of the DRC in the east and thereby reduce human rights abuses).


Constrain the ability of rebels to garner support within the DRC and from neighboring countries.


Signal support for the legitimacy of the government to rebel factions and regional actors.


Ongoing arms imports embargo on non-governmental entities, travel ban, and asset freeze.

Maximum number of designees during the episode: 20 individuals and 6 entities.

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 (9 months – 1 year) and periodically renewed. Sanctions Committee and Group of Experts in place. Designation criteria were specified and targets designated. Enforcement authorities specified, PKO had enforcement role.



Policy outcome

Some combatants began to negotiate a ceasefire and sign agreements (following joint DRC/Rwanda military operations against them), but others who were integrated became renegade DRC army forces within the region; some of the relevant neighboring countries (Rwanda) began cooperating with the DRC government.

Sanctions contribution

ICC prosecutions, diplomatic pressure on Rwanda, arrests of belligerents from the FDLR in Germany and France, and use of force appeared more important than sanctions.



Policy outcome

Integration and renaming indicated a change of strategy for some groups, and some pushed out of resource rich areas (the Governor of North Kivu did not allow planes to leave with resources or to land with weapons); Rwandan joint operations with DRC resulted in arrest of Nkunda and weakening of rebel forces.

Sanctions contribution

Sanctions triggered a political process through donors who put pressure on Rwanda (naming and shaming were critical during this episode), but the final outcome cannot be attributed to the sanctions alone, but to other factors, particularly the military offensives.



Policy outcome

Many combatants appeared to respond to the DDR process by abandoning militia groups, but poor integration of rebel forces into the armed forces of the DRC (which legitimates them) limited the overall effect.

Sanctions contribution

Military offensives and arrest or capture of key rebel leaders appeared more significant than sanctions.



Strengthening of authoritarian rule, resource diversion, increase in corruption and criminality.



  • Imposes arms imports embargo on all non-governmental entities and individual entities in DRC (9 months), lifting any restrictions on the supply, sale or transfer of arms and related materiel, as well as provision of assistance, advice or training related to military activities, to DRC Government
  • Specifies arms imports embargo exemptions for MONUC, humanitarian or protective use and related technical assistance and training (with prior Committee notification)
  • Terminates UNSCR 1596 and 1771 provisions regarding authorized arms shipments through receiving sites
  • Imposes travel ban (9 months) and specifies humanitarian, religious, peace, national reconciliation, regional stability, and transit of individuals returning to state of their nationality or participating in efforts to bring justice to perpetrators of human rights and international humanitarian law violations (pending Committee approval)
  • Imposes financial asset freeze (9 months) and specifies necessary basic expenses, extraordinary expenses, and expenses subject of a judicial, administrative or arbitral lien or judgment financial asset freeze exemptions (pending Committee approval)
  • Delineates designation criteria
  • Decides that governments in the region ensure aircraft operation in accordance with Convention on International Civil Aviation, notify Committee of any violations, and ensure no sanctions violations via their airports or airfields (9 months), recalling their obligation to maintain registry of all information concerning flights to and from DRC for Committee and Group of Experts review
  • Decides DRC and states bordering Ituri and the Kivus strengthen customs controls and ensure no means of transportation are violating the arms imports embargo, notifying MONUC of any such violations (9 months)


  • Modifies Sanctions Committee mandate
  • Extends and modifies Group of Experts mandate (9 months)
  • Sets sanctions review (9 months)
  • Requires MS Committee notification of arms imports or related assistance, advice, or training except for MONUC and UN, media, humanitarian and development workers, and related personnel personal use protective clothing (9 months)



  • Renews UNSCR 1807 arms imports embargo and UNSCR 1807, 1698, 1649 and 1596 financial asset freeze and travel ban (until 30.11.2009).
  • Renews UNSCR 1807 provisions for aircraft operation and strengthened custom controls (until 30.11.2009).
  • Delineates criteria for designations.


  • Modifies Sanctions Committee mandate, setting up regular review of listed individuals and entities
  • Extends and modifies Group of Experts mandate (30.11.2009)
  • Requires MS when proposing designations to provide detailed statement of case and identify information for public release
  • Requires Secretariat to inform permanent mission of MS where designee is believed to be located (for individuals also MS of citizenship) within 1 week of designation, providing them with relevant information (publicly releasable statement of case, reasons for listing, effects of designation, delisting procedures, and exemptions)
  • Directs Committee to make accessible on its website a narrative summary of reasons for listing (based on the publicly releasable part of MS statement of case)
  • Refers to UNSCR 1730 Focal Point for delisting
  • Sets sanctions review (by 30.11.2009)



  • Renews UNSCR 1807 arms imports embargo and UNSCR 1807 and 1857 financial asset freeze and travel ban (1 year).
  • Renews UNSCR 1807 provisions for aircraft operation and strengthened custom controls (1 year).


  • Modifies Sanctions Committee mandate.
  • Extends and modifies Group of Experts mandate (1 year).
  • Sets sanctions review (1 year).
  • Calls for MS reporting.