DR Congo: 'More flexibility, mobility for UN peacekeepers in DR Congo'

North Kivu Province, DR Congo (PANA) - The United Nations peacekeeping mission in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is changing how it operates to become more flexible and mobile, the head of the mission announced on Wednesday, saying the focus will be on rapid deployment of troops and air surveillance instead of fixed bases.

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in DRC, Maman Sidikou, said the mission, known by its acronym MONUSCO, will close five fixed bases at the end of the month in the North Kivu province.

“MONUSCO changes its mode of operations, as it continues to fulfil its mandate, that is, continuing to back Congolese authorities’ efforts for civilians’ protection,” said Mr. Sidikou.

He said the new operations were already underway in Kasai province, where some 350 MONUSCO troops have been deployed.

The Mission is setting up an early warning system and improving its access to people.

“To make the device more effective, it would be critical that communities swiftly transmit all security-related information to MONUSCO,” the Mission’s military authorities said.

In March, the UN Security Council extended the mandate of MONUSCO for another year, but lowered the approved number of military personnel and military observers from 19,815 and 760, respectively, to 16,215 and 660.

The Council tasked the Mission, with, among other responsibilities, ensuring effective and dynamic protection of civilians under threat of physical violence, including by preventing, deterring, and stopping all armed groups and local militias from inflicting violence on the populations.
-0- PANA VAO/AR 19July2017

19 juillet 2017 19:31:15

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