What's In Blue

Posted Mon 6 Feb 2012

DRC Briefing and Consultations

Tomorrow (7 February), the Council will be briefed by Roger Meece, head of the UN Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) on the Secretary-General’s latest report (S/2012/65). Following the briefing, Council members will have informal consultations on MONUSCO. It seems Hervé Ladsous, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, might be present in the consultations to answer Council members’ questions, following his recent visit to the DRC.

Council members appear keen to receive more detailed information on the conduct of the presidential and legislative elections of 28 November and, in particular, on whether specific measures can be taken by MONUSCO to improve its support for future electoral cycles. (Some international and national observers have reported irregularities in the vote count as well as the loss of significant numbers of ballots.)

The recent report gives a general overview of developments in the DRC up until 9 January, including the elections of 28 November and the post-election environment. It recommends that the DRC authorities conduct a comprehensive review of the electoral process to address the irregularities observed during the election. The report suggests that the results and “lessons learned” from this review should be utilised in conducting the provincial and local elections scheduled for later this month and in January 2013, respectively.

The incumbent president, Joseph Kabila, was declared the winner of the 28 November presidential election and his party has been able to retain a majority coalition within the National Assembly. However, the main opposition candidate, Etienne Tshisekedi, has rejected the results as fraudulent and “sworn” himself into office, calling for a boycott of parliament and other government institutions. Council members may be interested in hearing both Meese’s and Ladsous’s analysis of how this situation is likely to be resolved.

Members are also likely to want to know more about the attitude of Kabila and his government towards giving MONUSCO a bigger role in electoral assistance and the future long-term configuration of the mission.
Some members may also be interested in further information on the security situation in eastern DRC and security sector reform.

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