Residents in the restive North Kivu
region of the Democratic Republic of Congo say they are disappointed in the
ability of the United Nations peacekeeping mission (MONUC) to bring about
peace. The residents say they are yet to see any significant improvement in
their daily lives after constantly being displaced by clashes between the
national army and rebels loyal to renegade army General Laurent Nkunda. They
also accuse the United Nations mission of fighting on behalf of the rebel
forces. This comes after the chief of the UN mission
Alan Doss warned Wednesday that MONUC is no longer equal to the task of
maintaining peace after a recent upsurge in fighting in North Kivu. From the
capital, Goma, North Kivu resident Adili Amani Romauld tells reporter Peter
Clottey that MONUC is to blame for the escalation of violence in the region.
far as I am concerned, the problem of being overwhelmed is not a big problem
for us Congolese. But we just think the problem is MONUC because we don't know
what MONUC is doing among us, and that is the big problem. So the number of
soldiers is not a problem for the Congolese," Romauld noted.
said it seems Congolese have lost confidence in the ability of the United
Nations Mission there to enforce peace and stability in the region as they had
Congolese people no more have trust in MONUC. We think that they are supporting
the rebels. And there is a rumor that MONUC profits from the business of the
rebels because people have seen soldiers of MONUC saying that 'no Nkunda, no
jobs.' This is what the Congolese say they saw soldiers of MMOUNC saying… but
from the time they say MONUC came to this country, nothing has changed. So we
no more expect anything good from them," he said.
said most Congolese are displeased MONUC has so far failed to end the war
between the rebels and the Congolese army.
"That is true because people
here really want to be done with the war. And as long as MONUC is in the
middle, we don't see anything changing anytime soon. That is why you see the
Congolese accusing MONUC and the rebels are accusing MONUC too. So here we just
want to be done with the war although MONUC's mission has been clearly defined.
We want them to be on the side of the population so they can help bring the war
to an end," Romauld pointed out.
He said Congolese would be
grateful if the United Nations mission helps in bolstering the might of the
national army to stop rebel insurgencies in North Kivu province.
"I think Congolese here
would like MONUC to help the government forces to fight the rebels. And I know
it might not be possible because MONUC said it is neutral, saying that it is
not there to back any forces. We also want MONUC to act like a true UN force
and be there to help our soldiers, who are fighting the rebels. I know it is a
difficult thing to ask, but that is what we expect from MONUC," he said.
often been criticized for its inability to stop the clashes between the rebels
and the national army and to protect North Kivu civilians. The clashes are
blamed for the deaths of scores of ordinary civilians who get caught in the
fighting. The United Nations Mission (MONUC) has at least 6,200 of the overall
force currently deployed in the volatile region.
MONUC has in recent weeks accused General Nkunda's rebels of killing at least
13 civilians and forcibly recruiting 200 young men.