The U.N. began its current peacekeeping operations in Congo in 1999. Following negotiations with the Kabila regime, which was urging withdrawal of U.N. military forces, the mission was renamed in May 2010. What had been MONUC (the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo) became the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) beginning July 1 of last year.
Despite the many setbacks and blemishes in its record over the past 12 years, the U.N. presence enables slight hope for free and fair national elections being held at the end of this year. It now seems likely that those donor nations underwriting the billion dollar plus annual budget of MONUSCO will have to exert pressure on the Kabila regime to allow the U.N. troops to stay beyond the current June 30, 2011 withdrawal deadline. The regime only in August, 2010 adhered to the country’s Constitution and set the wheels in motion for the national plebiscite by calling for the voting to be held in November.
For a listing of the nationalities of the over 16,000 troops now deployed throughout the Congo, with a large contingent in Equateur, click on the following and to return to the blog click your backspace key:
It is distressing to note that many African troops have been withdrawn from the MONUSCO forces and Asian troops in particular far out number those from Africa