The United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is becoming more flexible and mobile by focusing on rapid deployment of troops and air surveillance.
The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in DRC, Maman Sidikou, said the mission, known by its acronym MONUSCO, will close five fixed bases at the end of the month in the North Kivu province.
“MONUSCO changes its mode of operations, as it continues to fulfil its mandate, that is, continuing to back Congolese authorities’ efforts for civilians’ protection,” Sidikou said.
The new operations are already underway in Kasai province, where some 350 MONUSCO troops have been deployed.
The mission is setting up an early warning system to improve its access to people, among others.
“To make the device more effective, it is critical communities swiftly transmit all security-related information to MONUSCO,” the Mission’s military authorities said.
In March, the UN Security Council extended the mandate of MONUSCO for another year, but lowered the approved number of military personnel and military observers from 19,815 and 760, respectively, to 16,215 and 660.
The Council tasked the Mission, with, among other responsibilities, ensuring effective and dynamic protection of civilians under threat of physical violence, including by preventing, deterring, and stopping all armed groups and local militias from inflicting violence on the populations.