U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs, issued the following statement on Wednesday expressing deep concern about developments in Eastern Congo, including the M23 takeover of the city of Goma.
"The unconscionable security and humanitarian crisis unfolding in Eastern Congo, including the M23's takeover of Goma, is of deep concern to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Africa. I join the U.N. Security Council in strongly condemning the M23 for their deplorable attacks on women, children, peacekeepers and humanitarian workers and in calling on the M23 to immediately stop all hostilities and withdraw from Goma. I also call on the M23 to allow for immediate humanitarian access and to facilitate the peaceful evacuation of civilians and humanitarian workers. The actions of the M23 represent a clear violation of international law and an affront to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
"The resolution passed by the U.N. Security Council calling on the M23 to disarm, disband and return control of Goma to the Congolese government, as well as calling for additional sanctions on M23's leaders, reflects the global understanding that the campaign of violence perpetrated by the M23 against the Congolese people must come to an immediate end. It is now up to Council and U.N. member states to impose those sanctions swiftly and comprehensively in order to increase pressure on the M23 to restore government control of Goma and stabilize the region. It is my hope that regional and international leaders will engage in multilateral efforts to encourage a sustainable resolution to this crisis as soon as possible."