UN Withdrawal from the Congo looms


Soon, the United Nations may face the drawdown of its biggest peacekeeping operation to date, the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (‘MUNOC’).
The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has asked that the first peacekeepers start to leave the country in June 2010. The first batch of troops would leave positions taken up in the peaceful western part of the vast country, whereas withdrawals from the unstable east would not be completed until June 2011 at the earliest. It is widely believed that the request was motivated by Congolese President Joseph Kabila wanting to shore up his position before the 2011 presidential election.

MUNOC was established by UN Security Resolution 1279 (1999) to observe the so-called Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement. This accord nominally ended the bloody Second Congo War. The force mandate expires at end of May.

– Andreas Persbo, London

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