UN peacekeeping mission starts withdrawing from DR Congo-Xinhua

UN peacekeeping mission starts withdrawing from DR Congo

Source: Xinhua| 2024-02-29 00:38:45|Editor: huaxia

KINSHASA, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- The UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), commonly known as MONUSCO, on Wednesday transferred to Congolese authorities the base of Kamanyola, located in the eastern South Kivu province, starting its withdrawal from the country after 25 years of presence.

The Kamanyola base, established in 2005, with the mandate to protect civilians and the security in the area by MONUSCO, is now managed by the Congolese National Police.

"We hope that the handover of (the base of) Kamanyola, combined with the ongoing construction of the Congolese National Police Sub-Commissariat by MONUSCO, will serve as a model and inspiration for the rest of the MONUSCO disengagement process," said MONUSCO's chief Bintou Keita at the handover ceremony.

The interim governor of South Kivu Marc Malago Kashekere praised "the good collaboration between the government and the UN, which made it possible to put negative forces in the region out of harm's way," while paying tribute to the fallen Blue Helmets in the service of peace in the DRC.

According to MONUSCO, this transfer constitutes one of the first acts of its disengagement from South Kivu.

Keita also reiterated the commitment of MONUSCO to work jointly with the Congolese authorities to ensure an orderly, responsible and sustainable withdrawal of the mission from the DRC.

The UN mission, which currently has around 15,000 peacekeepers, is still present in the three most troubled provinces in the region, namely South Kivu, North Kivu and Ituri. According to the plan established by the DRC and the UN, the disengagement of MONUSCO is taking place in three phases, starting with a complete withdrawal of the military and police components of the mission from South Kivu by April 30 and June 30 for its civilian component.

Before May 2024, the UN force will therefore completely leave its 14 bases in the province and hand them over to the Congolese security forces.

The second and third phases of this withdrawal provide for a withdrawal from North Kivu and Ituri, with an in-depth assessment in between, so that MONUSCO leaves "definitively the DRC no later than the end of 2024," according to a press release published in last January jointly by the Congolese government and MONUSCO.