MONUSCO: 15 years in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

December 9, 2014 OPINION/NEWS




Sylvain Muyali

On 30th November 2014, the United Nations peacekeeping mission reached its fifteenth anniversary in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

MONUSCO, (formerly MONUC until 2010) was established in Resolution 1279 of 30 November 1999 by the United Nations Security Council for the restoration of peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Fifteen years later, the DRC has not only found its unity, but also peace, despite the activism of some armed groups in the Kivus and Katanga provinces mainly. These were acquired with the assistance of the UN Mission.

UN Resolution 1279 is consecutive with the ceasefire agreement, signed in July 1999 between the DRC and five belligerent States in the region who competed on Congolese soil, ie, Rwanda, Uganda, Angola, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

The country was then divided into three controlled territories: the east by the Rally for Congolese Democracy (RCD), the Movement for the Liberation of the Congo (MLC) in the north and Kinshasa/Congolese government in the southwest.

At this time a passport was needed to travel from the city of Kinshasa to Goma or Gbadolite within the DRC, in transit via Brazzaville, Nairobi in Kenya and Central African Republic capital Bangui.

Apart from Bas-Congo and Bandundu, all provinces were shared between the Kinshasa government and numerous rebellions.

In 2014, the peace and unity of the DRC became a reality. To reach this point, we went through Sun City, the Government 1 + 4 [President co-led the country with four vice presidents], both presidential and legislative elections and numerous UN Security Council decisions.

The work done by MONUSCO, which has contributed to all this is encouraging in light of the progress made by the DRC, but it is far from perfect as any human endeavour.


Judgment of the population

Fifteen years later, is it time for MONUSCO to leave or remain on Congolese soil?

The population of Kinshasa questioned on this issue remain divided over the future of the UN Mission in the DRC. Some people speak positively regarding MONUSCO and want it to stay, but others against want only one thing: the departure of this mission.

“Well, I think that the work is acceptable even if it took too much time. Should we tell them to leave or remain, there is a problem: we have no armies. It’s even better that they stay. They are even more evil than good, despite some shortcomings that we see, “said one respondent in Kinshasa.

Another acknowledges that MONUSCO has helped the political and administrative authorities to reach the ‘nooks and crannies’ of the DRC without much difficulty. He added:

“Radio Okapi inform objectively on matters throughout the country and even outside. We hope MONUSCO remain until there is total peace in the country. “

Another interviewee from Kinshasa stated “The MONUSCO is simply a total fiasco. By mutating into a stabilisation mission, we thought they were going to get involved in the electoral process, ensuring the transparency of elections. Unfortunately, she (MONUSCO) closed her eyes, “he argued.




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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