DR Congo remains volatile – UN

465

With the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) mission now in its fourth month of deployment, the United Nations (UN) mission there reports “heavy firing” outside Saké in North Kivu.

The SADC mission – SAMIDRC – aims to bring peace and stability to particularly the eastern part of the sprawling central African country. A withdrawal plan for the UN mission MONUSCO is underway and it will exit South Kivu by June. Come December, SAMIDRC will be the lone peacekeeping operation in DRC when MONUSCO withdraws after 14 years. Post the briefing defenceWeb was informed by UN communicators the world body is committed to “expediting the gradual, responsible, and sustainable withdrawal of MONUSCO”. The timetable for the remaining withdrawal phases from North Kivu and Ituri will be subject to Security Council decisions, based on joint assessments by the DRC government and MONUSCO.

Addressing a weekly noon briefing yesterday (16 April) in New York, Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said the security situation in North Kivu, adjacent to Uganda, continued deteriorating with “heavy firing” outside Saké, around Kimoka and Mubambiro.

“In response MONUSCO peacekeepers established a presence in the area, while the Congolese Army reinforced troops to deter attacks.

“The peacekeeping mission intervened to help release five civilians, including a woman and two minors, following their abduction by an armed group close to Djugu, in the Ituri province. Following their release, MONUSCO provided temporary shelter and medical assistance before they were transported home.

“In Ituri peacekeepers deployed to a mining site, north-east of Bunia, to protect civilians in response to a CODECO militia attack. Four civilians were killed in the attack and the mission is monitoring the situation,’ Dujarric said. 

The southern African regional bloc mission used its SADC Secretariat account to make known SAMIDRC has no social media account. “All communications relating to SAMIDRC are communicated via #SADC platforms it said following a fake account purporting to be the “Southern African Development Community Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo since 2024”.