Special Representative Bintou Keita told the UN Security Council that after the rise of the M23 insurgency movement, faith in the mission of the United Nations, known by its French abbreviation, MONUSCO, declined.
‘Hate, Hostility and Violence’
She said violent protests and serious incidents had caused the deaths of several dozen protesters and four mission staff.
In late July, protesters attacked and looted MONUSCO facilities, accusing their peacekeepers of being ineffective against armed groups.
According to news reports, DRC President Felix Tshisekedi has instructed his Government to reassess the transition plan to expedite the mission’s departure.
Ms. Keita, who is also the head of the mission, stated that the UN is fully prepared to work with the Government to this end.
Violence against civilians
Meanwhile, the head of MONUSCO expressed concern that “armed groups continue to pose a significant threat and commit violence against civilians” in the resilient east of the country, especially the M23 , the Congolese Development Cooperative (CODECO) and the Mai-Mai militia.
“This insecurity leads to human rights violations and exacerbates an already serious humanitarian situation,” she warned, noting that there are currently around 27 million people in need of assistance. humanitarian.
“A clear sign that the situation is worsening is the increase in the number of displaced people since January 2022, which has brought the total number of displaced people to 5.5 million – the largest number in Africa. “.
Ms. Keita welcomed the humanitarian community’s commitment to “stay, deliver, and scale its operations,” and stressed that doing so requires long-term engagement with communities that share it. with predictable funding.
MONUSCO maintains “a firm footing” and remains fully mobilized to address the persistent insecurity created by armed groups in the east of the country, she continued.
Furthermore, it is providing operational, logistical and tactical support in countering all armed groups and continues to prioritize resource allocation to support the protection of civilians.
In addition to the efforts of MONUSCO and national security forces, regional initiatives are also underway to stabilize the eastern DRC and defuse tensions in the region.
However, the senior UN official insists that these initiatives need consistent international support.
The special representative said that progress has been made towards the 2023 elections, set for next December, particularly with regard to inclusion and registration.
However, she also noted a number of “important challenges”, including reaching a broad consensus on various aspects of the electoral process, and suggested that the good offices of MONUSCO facilitate facilitate dialogue for a “peaceful, transparent, comprehensive process,” within the constitutional term.
Before concluding, Ms. Keita welcomed President Tshisekedi’s stance against hate speech in her address to the General Assembly.
She praised the country’s efforts in curbing tensions between communities, especially in the east of the country, and encouraged the DRC to continue its efforts against racism and xenophobia.