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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment 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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid