UN Mission in DR Congo entering ‘final phase’

Saturday, August 12, 2023

UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has declared that the UN’s mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is moving into its “concluding phase.” Nonetheless, he has cautioned that the state of affairs in the conflict-affected nation has undergone a “marked deterioration.”

Presenting his findings to the UN Security Council, Guterres offered a candid evaluation of the tumultuous situation in the DRC and outlined a strategy for the “swift and responsible withdrawal” of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) following its nearly 25-year presence in the country.

In a comprehensive 15-page report issued on Thursday, attention was drawn to escalating tensions within the region and a deteriorating humanitarian crisis over the past year. The report highlighted the forceful displacement of “hundreds of thousands of civilians.”

The report further noted a distressing escalation in child sexual violence, indicating a more than twofold increase from 2021 to 2022.

Specifically, the report emphasized that in the eastern provinces of North Kivu and Ituri – the regions most severely impacted by the violence – around 28% and 39% of the respective populations have been displaced, totaling approximately four million individuals.

The core of these conflicts has been attributed to the resurgence of the M23 rebel group, which has managed to gain control over substantial stretches of territory, the report confirmed.

The eventual withdrawal of the UN mission has been a central topic of deliberation concerning the DRC’s future for a number of years. This subject has engendered tension and spurred populist rhetoric within the country.


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