The UN Security Council decided on Monday to extend until December 20, 2022 the mandate of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s UN peacekeeping mission, the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), as well as its Force Intervention Brigade. The council also welcomed President Felix Tshisekedi’s initiatives in the political and human rights spheres and demanded that armed groups quit all forms of violence and other destabilising activities immediately.
The Council also decided that MONUSCO’s troop ceiling would consist of 13,500 military personnel, 660 military observers, and staff officers, as well as 591 police officers and 1,050 formed police units, by overwhelmingly passing resolution 2612 under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter. It also agreed to send up to 360 organized police units on a temporary basis, as long as they replaced military personnel. However, in light of the improving situation on the ground, the Council requested that the UN Secretariat consider further lowering MONUSCO’s military deployment and operational area.
In addition, the Council has expressed worries about escalating assaults on humanitarian and medical workers, as well as substantial barriers to humanitarian aid access in the DRC’s east. The Council went so far as to demand that all parties to the conflict give and enable complete, secure, immediate, and unrestricted access to humanitarian personnel, supplies, and essential commodities to the most vulnerable members of the population.
The Council also decided that MONUSCO’s key priorities are to contribute to the safety and safeguarding of civilians, as well as to assist in the stabilization and strengthening of state institutions. The DRC’s critical governance and security transformations are likewise a top priority. The Council also ordered MONUSCO to be in charge of child protection and gender issues as cross-cutting issues throughout its mission, as well as overseeing the implementation of the weapons prohibition outlined in Resolution 2293. (2016).
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