Less UN peacekeepers for the Democratic Republic of Congo

Less UN peacekeepers for the Democratic Republic of Congo

Taken on March 31, the decision to significantly reduce the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC will be felt on the ground today. The mission was originally established in the aftermath of the Second Congo War in 1999 to stabilise the country. The cuts to the mission, which include the closure of five bases in

Photo: MONUSCO/Abel Kavanagh

Photo: MONUSCO/Abel Kavanagh

Taken on March 31, the decision to significantly reduce the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC will be felt on the ground today.

The mission was originally established in the aftermath of the Second Congo War in 1999 to stabilise the country.

The cuts to the mission, which include the closure of five bases in the country’s east and a troop reduction of 25%, were heavily pushed by the US with Ambassador Nikki Haley saying the “UN is aiding a government that is inflicting predatory behaviour against its own people.”

Indeed, the mission is often criticised for being ineffective and is riddled with accusations of human rights violations and fraternisation with various parties to the conflict.

But the cuts could hardly have come at a worse time, with President Joseph Kabila’s unwillingness to yield power likely to exacerbate violence in the country’s central Kasai region.

With the UN unable and unwilling to pressure the government it will be up to the Congolese opposition to make sure that Mr Kabila sticks to his pledge of holding presidential elections this year and yielding power to his successor.

Delve deeper: Kabila’s Congo: the end of an era

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