In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the budget of MONUSO is reduced

Elements of the Force Intervention Brigade of MONUSCO give a demonstration of their know-how in combat Elements of the Force Intervention Brigade of MONUSCO give a demonstration of their know-how in combat © MONUSCO/Clara Padovan

12 March 2018

MONUSCO, the UN mission in DRC, saw its budget get drastically reduced. The Mission developed new approaches, although there are still doubts about their efficacy.

MONUSCO is the UN peacekeeping operation in the DRC. Initially named MONUC, it was established in 1999, following the peace agreement that ended the Second Congo War. The report issued by the Centre for Civilian in Conflict (CIVIC) investigates the development of the Mission in 2017.

MONUSCO has seen its budget reduced last year by UN State Members and is now facing unexpected challenges. The cut is motivated both financially and as part of a UN broader strategy to scale down the existing peacekeeping operations, and it brings in the request of an exit strategy development. Even though part of a general efficiency trend, the reduction to MONUSCO has been abrupt and not reflecting the need of protection of the civilian population, which has never decreased.

The Mission is dealing with the new situation by promoting the “protection by projection” strategy. Summarising, it consists in closing the permanent bases, concentrating resources on mobility and fast deployment: instead of a constant presence on an area, the Mission will be monitoring from distance and whenever the situation seems to be degenerating, Militaries will intervene, act and leave after stability is restored. However, the budget cut is also jeopardizing this approach: its fast implementation is making harder to carry out the gradual change. On the contrary, the whole operation is covered by a sense of freneticism, raising concerns for the ability to keep on ensuring the same level of protection to civilians, many of whom see the closure of bases as an abandonment. The report ends its analysis with some words on Congolese armed forces, which are required to step forward to balance the retreat of MONUSCO. The authors are dubious about their efficacy: within the police or the army, there is a lack of a proper training. In addition, severe violations of human rights are reported as being committed by members of the national armed forces. The security sector must be reformed, in order to ensure effective protection to Congolese civilians.


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