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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Audio Top 5 Songs for Week Ending May 23

This week's lineup can be summed up like this: 'It's The Same Old Song' - but they're great songs - featuring Walk The Moon, The Weeknd, Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth 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.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs