DRC Foreign Minister addresses UN peacekeepers’ decision to suspend support

March 6, 2015 OPINION/NEWS

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By

Sylvain Muyali

Currently, the decision of UN peacekeeping mission MONUSCO not to support the Congolese army (FARDC) in military operations against FDLR rebel troops is unclear in the media. Military observers seem to rely on the logic of things and accordingly do not appear to comprehend that such plans were designed jointly by the two institutions, MONUSCO and the FARDC.

The Congolese Foreign Minister, Raymond Tshibanda, gave an interview recently in which he indicated that Hervé Ladsous, Under Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), did not allow the UN body, MONUSCO and FIN (Neutral International Force), stationed in eastern DRC, to track down the FDLR rebels, despite working together to defeat defeat M23 fighters in November 2013.

“… We want to be accompanied by MONUSCO because it is clear that it can bring us the necessary support of logistics, sometimes even fire support…And we fought hard for the deployment of the intervention brigade in the DRC, which also has the mandate to neutralise negative forces,” Tshibanda stated.

Spitefully, the minister shows that he knows what to say regarding the non availability of the UN, whose mission is to stabilise the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo before their departure. It seems that it is absurd to see MONUSCO peacekeepers and FIN actively participate in combat threatening elements of the M23 Movement, only for them to suddenly retract and disengage when requested to press the Rwandan FDLR rebels at the door of their country.

Tshibanda, albeit indirectly, seems to seriously doubt the good intentions of the United Nations’ Hervé Ladsous, in charge of peacekeeping operations around the world.

“To address the protection of children during military operations against the FDLR, MONUSCO has established a ‘Task Force’ to protect children who will monitor all violations of children’s rights and support children’s escape from armed groups ” stated Charles Bambara, spokesman for MONUSCO, who knows that children’s rights are still trampled on when the guns begin to thunder.

But the approach of the MONUSCO spokesperson has another connotation: “Warning, we must not stand idly by while the FARDC are doing work in which we should be involved. The media must show that we are not inactive.” Can we interpret this ad seriously, when the Congolese officials continue to accuse MONUSCO and the Neutral International Force of not assisting them to track down the FDLR, of rendering them ineffective for the benefit of stability and return of peace to the region?

The Congolese Foreign Minister Tshibanda, knowing the resource limitations of the army, stated: “So we are not against the support of MONUSCO. It was they who decided not to participate in these operations…and I have just shown that the reasons it evokes are misleading. MONUSCO told us that in other such operations, it used a provision of the law which states that when the case is significant, one can get a waiver. This means the military operation against the FDLR would not be great enough for the UN. It can jeopardise the operation by suspending the participation of peacekeepers, even though it has the ability to get the waiver.”

 

 

 

Latest related article: http://tuckmagazine.com/2015/03/03/rebel-troops-captured-as-military-offensive-in-democratic-republic-of-the-congo-continues/

 

 

sylvain muyali

Sylvain Muyali

Sylvain Muyali is a Journalist, Photographer and Filmmaker from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He has reported previously for the Associated Press and his words and images can also be found at ‘Vivons Positivement

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