Thursday, June 20, 2024

UN peacekeepers to start withdrawing from eastern Congo in April

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Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi is an experienced and award winning journalist from Ghana. He has worked for several media brands both in Ghana and on the International scene. Isaac Kaledzi is currently serving as an African Correspondent for DW.

The United Nation has said that about 2,000 U.N. peacekeepers will start withdrawing from eastern areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo by in April.

This would be the first phase of the peacekeeping mission’s planned withdrawal from the country.

“We have a ceiling of 13,500 troops authorised by the Security Council, as of April 30th, with the start of the withdrawal underway, we will reach 11,500,” Bintou Keita, head of the mission, told reporters on Saturday.

In December last year, theĀ U.N. Security Council approved the end of the mission after a request by Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi for the withdrawal of the peacekeepers to fasten.

DR Congo currently hosts 13,500-strong force, known as MONUSCO. The troops took over from an earlier U.N. operation in 2010. That operation helped to quell insecurity in the east of the Central African country.

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The UN mission in DR Congo though has become a major source of agitation with calls for its exit. Critics say the mission has failed to protect civilians against militia groups, sparking deadly protests.

The first of three withdrawal phases will begin in South Kivu province, Keita said. She added that 14 U.N. bases in the province will also be taken over by Congolese security forces.

U.N. peacekeeping forces will later withdraw from the North Kivu and Ituri provinces in the next phases with the remaining U.N. forces are expected to leave the country by end of this year.

“The withdrawal of MONUSCO does not necessarily mean the end of the fight we are undertaking to protect the territorial interests of our country, we must continue to struggle,” Congolese Foreign Minister Christophe Lutundula told reporters.

UN livid over the killing of civilians by peacekeepers in DR Congo


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