MONUSCO exits Tanganyika province

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The United Nations (UN) mission in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is exiting Tanganyika province with “mission accomplished” proclaimed by the Secretary-General’s special representative in the central African country.

“Mission accomplished, certainly, insofar as we can responsibly leave and knowing there is continuity of work by the provincial authority, there will be support from the national government,” Bintou Keita is quoted as saying in a MONUSCO communique

“We are not leaving and giving up. We are leaving in a responsible way knowing structures are there to continue to support Tanganyika province.”

Keita, who is also MONUSCO head of mission, told journalists at the official closing down of UN operations in Tanganyika “not everything has been resolved”.

“What remains to be managed is manageable with continued support” she said adding of six territories in Tanganyika province, at least four are now in the same situation as other provinces where there is no conflict.

“There are two territories, Nyunzu and Kalemie, north of Nyunzu, also in the triangle of death. Here we are talking about Bendera, where there are still challenges at the security level and about the rule of law. In Bendera, you are dealing essentially with serious criminality beyond attacks by Mai-Mai groups.” This situation will see a MONUSCO troop presence continuing in Tanganyika’s northern regions.

Keita said agencies, funds and programmes – especially the provincial authority – were in place and on hand for “everything else” adding there were “still roles for central government to continue building capacity in the security apparatus”.

DRC Human Rights Minister Albert Puela was at the close down event and thanked all UN agencies and partners for what was achieved in Tanganyika.

The DRC is sovereign,” he said adding, “Incidents of life forced the UN to come to the aid of DRC, as the country faced serious problems in daily life. When someone gives you support, that does not mean you remain children. DRC must know how to live up to its responsibilities”.

“It is now up to the Congolese government to fully assume its responsibilities. First, the national government since it has exclusive powers, such as safeguarding territorial integrity, maintaining order and security. Then there are areas of collaboration and exclusive areas reserved for the provincial government.”