News / Africa

UN Peacekeeping Mission in DRC Under Review

The U.N. Security Council is preparing to go the Democratic Republic of Congo on a lightning mission later this week to discuss the future of 20,000 U.N. peacekeepers with President Joseph Kabila, who would like to see them leave.

President Kabila would like to see the peacekeepers, who have been in Congo for a decade following the country's bloody civil war, begin withdrawing before his country marks its 50th anniversary of independence from Belgium later this year. Mr. Kabila would like the entire force out by late August 2011.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has recommended the Council withdraw up to 2,000 peacekeepers by the end of this June - but only from the calmer western part of the country.

The U.N.'s top official in Congo, Alan Doss, who briefed the council ahead of their Friday departure for Kinshasa, said such a drawdown in the west would be operationally feasible for the mission, known by its French acronym, MONUC.  Following that he proposed reviews of the security situation every six months, starting in September, in areas where MONUC is deployed.

"These reviews would focus on progress on military operations against armed groups; deployment of security forces to assume MONUC protection task; and establishment of state authority in areas freed of armed groups," he said.

Doss said those would be the conditions for planning further drawdowns of U.N. forces.

In the unstable east, peacekeepers are still supporting the national army in its efforts to eradicate Rwandan Hutu rebels of the FDLR and the rebel Lords Resistance Army. Doss expressed continuing concerns about the security situation in that part of the country. "The humanitarian situation in the Kivus and parts of Orientale province remains of deep concern with a large number of internally displaced persons, high levels of sexual violence against women and attacks on humanitarian workers," he said.

Such instability was evident Tuesday, as the International Committee of the Red Cross said eight of its workers had been abducted by militia members in South Kivu province.

French Ambassador Gerard Araud, who is organizing the 2-day visit to the DRC, told reporters the council is going "with an open mind" to dialogue with the Congolese. "We all know that the U.N. force won't remain indefinitely in Congo. Our goal is, of course, to allow the Congolese authorities to exert their authority, their sovereignty, on all their territory as quickly as possible," he said.

But he cautioned that the situation remains "extremely fragile" and that withdrawal must be done "right, rather than quickly."

The Council was originally planning to visit Uganda and Rwanda as well on this trip, but canceled those plans, citing the council's heavy work load this month. That agenda includes a possible new round of sanctions aimed at Iran for its nuclear program.

You May Like

Key Al-Shabab Commander Captured

Zakariye Ismail Hersi was captured in a raid Saturday morning in the town of El Wak near the border with Kenya More

Relations Between Pakistan, Afghanistan Key to Fighting Taliban

A Pakistani official tells VOA that anti-terrorism campaign has resulted in improved counter-terrorism cooperation with Afghanistan More

160,000 Displaced by Flooding in Malaysia

Prime Minister Najib Razak visits hard-hit Kelantan state, announces nearly $145M in additional relief for victims More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Estimates Rising of Foreign Fighters in Iraq, Syriai
X
Jeff Seldin
December 24, 2014 11:38 PM
Foreign fighters are making more of a mark on the battles raging across Syria and Iraq than initially thought. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.
Video

Video Estimates Rising of Foreign Fighters in Iraq, Syria

Foreign fighters are making more of a mark on the battles raging across Syria and Iraq than initially thought. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.
Video

Video Russians Head Into Holiday Facing Economic Malaise

Russian preparations for the New Year holiday are clouded by economic recession and a tumbling currency, the ruble. Nonetheless, people in the Russian capital appear to be in a festive mood. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Mombasa in Holiday Tourism Slump Due to Security Fears

Kenya's usually popular beachside tourist destination of Mombasa is seeing a much slower holiday season this year due to fears of insecurity as the country has suffered from a string of terror attacks linked to Somali militants. Mohammed Yusuf reports for VOA on how businessmen and tourists feel about the situation.
Video

Video For Somalis, 2014 Marked by Political Instability Within Government

While Somalia has long been torn apart by warfare and violence, this year one of the country's biggest challenges has come from within the government, as political infighting curtails the country's progress, threatens security gains and disappoints the international community. VOA's Gabe Joselow report.
Video

Video US Political Shift Could Affect Iran Nuclear Talks

Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to resolve Iran’s nuclear crisis are continuing into 2015 after Iran and six world powers failed to agree by a November deadline. U.S. domestic politics, however, could complicate efforts to reach a deal in the new year. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video NYSE: The Icon of Capitalism

From its humble beginnings in 1792 to its status as an economic bellweather for the world, the New York Stock Exchange is an integral part of the story of America. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from Wall Street.
Video

Video Islamic State Emergence Transforms Syria and Iraq in 2014

The emergence of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria as a potent force in early 2014 changed the dynamics of the region. Their brutal methods - including executions and forced slavery - horrified the international community, drawing Western forces into the conflict. It also splintered the war in Syria, where more than 200,000 Syrians have died in the conflict. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell looks back at a deadly year in the region -- and what 2015 may hold.
Video

Video Massive Study Provides Best Look at Greenland Ice Loss Yet

The Greenland ice sheet is melting faster than predicted, according to a new study released in the Proceedings of the National Academic of Sciences that combines NASA satellite data and aerial missions. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the finding means coastal communities worldwide could be at greater risk, sooner, from the impact of rising seas.
Video

Video US Marines, Toys for Tots Bring Christmas Joy

Christmas is a time for giving in the United States, especially to young children who look forward to getting presents. But some families don't have money to buy gifts. For nearly 70 years, a U.S. Marines-sponsored program has donated toys and distributed them to underprivileged children during the holiday season. VOA's Deborah Block tells us about the annual Toys for Tots program.
Video

Video France Rocked by Attacks as Fear of ISIS-Inspired Terror Grows

Eleven people were injured, two seriously, when a man drove his car into crowds of pedestrians Sunday night in the French city of Dijon, shouting ‘God is Great’ in Arabic. It’s the latest in a series of apparent ‘lone-wolf’ terror attacks in the West. Henry Ridgwell looks at the growing threat of attacks, which security experts say are likely inspired by the so-called "Islamic State" terror group.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid