United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Congo (MONUSCO)
The United Nations is present throughout the DRC through the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Congo (MONUSCO). Following the signing of the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement in July 1999 between the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and five regional States (Angola, Namibia, Rwanda, Uganda and Zimbabwe) in July 1999, the Security Council established the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC - "Mission de l'Organisation des Nations Unies en Republique Democratique du Congo") by its resolution 1279 of 30 November 1999. On 1 July 2010, the Security Council, by its resolution 1925, renamed MONUC the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) to reflect the new phase reached in the country.
MONUSCO is the 20,000-strong peacekeeping operation (PKO) with military contingents in all provinces and major cities. Much more than a simple PKO, MONUC was in fact the only institution in the DRC with nationwide military, transportation, communications, and administrative capabilities. In the absence of a meaningful Government of the DR Congo [GDRC] presence outside Kinshasa and some provincial cities, it provides services that usually are the domain of a national government. MONUC's Radio Okapi, for example, is the only FM radio station broadcasting throughout the DRC in the country's five official languages; MONUC also maintains regular flights to all major DRC airports. MONUC has succeeded in preventing a return to the civil and international wars that prevailed in the DRC prior to its creation in 1999. Its record in other areas, however, is mixed.
The U.N. mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, MONUSCO, said in October 2015 tat it wass looking forward to a full resumption of strategic cooperation with the Congolese army. The new head of MONUSCO was to arrive soon. The U.N. mission in Congo put a temporary halt to its collaboration with the Congolese army, the FARDC, in February 2015, after two generals suspected of human rights abuses were placed in charge of what was supposed to have been a joint FARDC-UN operation against FDLR rebels. Citing U.N. human rights policy, the mission withdrew support for that operation, although it has continued supporting the army against other armed groups.
By March 2017 the United States wanted to cut by a quarter the troop cap for MONUSCO, despite warnings by France and others against drastic changes to the world body's largest and most expensive operation. The United States wants the troop cap to be cut to 15,000. The Congo mission has a troop cap of 19,815, though there were only 16,893 UN soldiers on the ground after the previous UN chief Ban Ki-moon made reductions in 2015 and 2016.
On 31 March 2017 the UN Security Council extended the mandate of the United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for another year but reduced the number of troops. In a resolution unanimously adopted, the 15-member body decided to keep the UN Organization Stabilization Mission (MONUSCO) until 31 March 2018, but approved 16,215 military personnel, 660 military observers and staff officers, 391 police personnel, and 1,050 personnel of formed police units. In a previous mandate extension, the Council approved 19,815 military personnel, 760 military observers and staff officers, 391 police personnel, and 1,050 personnel of formed police units.
The U.N. Security Council has condemned "in strongest terms" the 07 December 2017 attack against a U.N. mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in which at least 15 Tanzanian peacekeepers and five Congolese soldiers died. Security Council members met in a closed session Friday afternoon to discuss the attack, after holding a moment of silence in tribute to the victims. In addition to the deaths, more than 50 people were injured in the attack in DRC's North Kivu province, where a Ugandan rebel group known as the Allied Democratic Forces, or ADF, is active.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed his "outrage" after the attack, which also left about 40 people injured. "I condemn this attack unequivocally," Guterres said. "These deliberate attacks against U.N. peacekeepers are unacceptable and constitute a war crime."
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