Democratic Republic of Congo

UN's Monuc force prepares for phased withdrawal


The United Nations says it will work with the government of the Democratic of Congo to attain a phased withdrawal of its peace keepers from the country, without creating a security vacuum. On Friday the Security Council voted to withdraw some 2,000 peacekeepers from DRC.


President Joseph Kabila has called for a complete pull-out by late 2011, insisting that the first contingent should leave before 30 June this year.

The UN force, known as Monuc, is the world's largest peacekeeping operation with more than 20,000 personnel.

The Security Council agreed to rename it the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in DRC, or Monusco, from 1 July.

Alain Le Roy, the head of UN peacekeeping operations, said the change from Monuc to Monusco shows that there is a new phase in the United Nations mission in Congo-Kinshasa.

“We were worried some time ago that the mission Monuc was requested to end some time in 2011,” he said. “Of course there will be a joint assessment between the Congolese authorities and ourselves to see after 2011 what is the future of Monuc, but that is subject to joint assessment.”

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