UN to close five bases in eastern DRC

Author : Mircea Birca | Thursday, July 20, 2017
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News
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Five UN peacekeepers’ bases in the Democratic Republic of Congo are to close at the end of July, the UN mission there announced on Wednesday, describing it as a change in operational style.

But the closures come against the background of cuts to the overall peacekeeping budget pushed through under pressure from the United States.

The bases, all in the restive eastern province of Nord Kivu, on the border with Rwanda and Uganda, will close by July 31, according to a statement from MONUSCO, the peacekeeping mission.

“The new operational device consists in prioritizing flexibility and mobility in military interventions in line with the strategy adopted by the UN department of peace-keeping operations,” said the statement.

The new system would include “long-distance patrols, presence demonstrations patrols, air surveillance and rapid deployment in the event of security incident”, it added.

DRC’s resource-rich east has suffered nearly two decades of brutal conflict.

As neighbouring states backed rebel groups in a civil war against Kinshasa’s authority and armed militia forced civilians to flee their homes, part of MONUSCO’s mission has been to protect the local population.

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