The United Nations Security Council on Monday, Dec. 20, extended the mandate of the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) by one year to Dec. 20, 2022.
The resolution extending the mandate was unanimously voted by all the 15 members of the Security Council with the emphasis that the UN Blue Helmets concentrate their operations in the northeast of the country, especially in the provinces of Ituri, North Kivu, and South Kivu, and also to accentuate their joint operations with the DR Congo army.
The resolution which was drafted by France fixed the maximum number of UN forces to be based in the DR Congo at 14,160, supported by 2,001 police officers.
The UN Security Council resolution ordered “MONUSCO forces to withdraw between now and mid-2022 from the province of Tanganyika in the southeast of the country and to consolidate its imprint in Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu, the three provinces where an active conflict persists.”
The Ugandan army, with the accord of Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi, has since Nov. 30, 2021 been carrying out joint military operations with the DR Congo armed forces against Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in the northeast regions of the DR Congo.
The Ugandan military intervention in the DR Congo was not explicitly mentioned in the UN resolution.
However, one paragraph of the resolution in passing, “congratulates the increasing collaboration of the Congolese authorities with MONUSCO and with the countries in the region” and underlined “the importance of coordination and the sharing of information, including the Blue Helmets on the military operations going on in eastern DR Congo.”
North Kivu and Ituri have been under a state of siege since May this year.
The state of siege is an exceptional measure that has given full powers to the military but has not succeeded in stopping the activities of the rebels.
In putting forward the necessity to respect human rights and the international humanitarian rights, the Security Council has however “called for accrued and efficacious joint operations by the Congolese security forces and MONUSCO including its intervention brigade.”
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