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DRC: government and UN sign withdrawal plan for 14,000 peacekeepers

November 22, 2023

Kinshasa, DR Congo

The UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Monusco) said on Wednesday, November 22, that it had signed a plan with the government for the withdrawal of its troops, without giving further details on the timetable.
In its communiqué, the UN mission, which has been present in the DRC since 1999, speaks of an “accelerated, progressive, orderly and responsible withdrawal” from the country.
The note contains a plan and timetable for the withdrawal, but Monusco gave few details, saying only that it would be implemented in three phases.
With an annual budget of around $1 billion, the peacekeeping forces have been present in the DRC for almost 25 years, but local militias and foreign armed groups continue to plunge the eastern part of the country into mourning.
Some 14,000 peacekeepers are deployed in the country, almost exclusively in the east.
In recent years, the unpopularity of the mission has only increased, with its personnel regularly attacked for their perceived ineffectiveness in dealing with the violence of armed groups.
Since the beginning of the year, the Congolese government has been hammering home its desire for an “accelerated” departure of Monusco.

In New York, at UN headquarters, discussions at the Security Council on the renewal of the mission’s mandate are due to start on November 30.
Monusco’s new mandate is due to be presented around December 20, the date of the general elections in the DRC.

Humanitaire, humanitarian and sustainable development magazine with AFP

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