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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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UN To Withdraw Peace Mission In Congo By December End

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By the end of 2024, the UN peacekeeping mission in Congo will have completed its withdrawal from the country of Central Africa. The mission had assisted in the fight against rebels for more than 20 years after which the Congolese government asked them to leave. 

According to Bintou Keita, head of the MONUSCO mission, the 15,000-strong force will withdraw in three phases, starting in the South Kivu province where at least 2,000 security personnel will leave by the end of April. Forces in the North Kivu and Ituri provinces will also withdraw after that.

At a press conference in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Keita declared, “After 25 years of presence, MONUSCO will definitively leave the DRC no later than the end of 2024.” She went on to say that the mission’s conclusion will not mark “the end of the United Nations” in the nation.

The disengagement plan for “a progressive, responsible, honourable and exemplary withdrawal of MONUSCO” was developed in collaboration with UN and Congolese officials, according to Congolese Foreign Minister Christophe Lutundula. Additionally, Lutundula said, “modalities have been set for the gradual transfer of tasks from MONUSCO to Congolese government.”

After replacing a previous UN peacekeeping operation in Congo, the MONUSCO force entered the country in 2010 with the goal of defending civilians and aid workers while assisting the Congolese government in efforts to stabilise and consolidate the peace.

But angry Congolese claim that no one is defending them from rebel attacks, which has sparked anti-UN demonstrations and occasionally deadly ones.

The UN mission was asked to leave Congo after the recently re-elected government, which claimed the security cooperation “has proved its limits in a context of permanent war, without the longed-for peace being restored to eastern Congo,” was just re-elected in a contentious election.

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