What's In Blue

Posted Mon 11 Jun 2012

Briefing on DRC Mission

Tomorrow (Tuesday, 12 June), the Council will hear a briefing from Roger Meece, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). This briefing will be followed by consultations. No Council action is anticipated following tomorrow’s meetings, although MONUSCO’s mandate expires on 30 June and negotiations on its renewal are likely to commence next week.

Meece will brief the Council tomorrow on the Secretary-General’s latest report on MONUSCO of 23 May (S/2012/355). The report recommends maintaining the mission’s primary focus on protection of civilians and recommends that its mandate be extended for 12 months at current authorised levels. (The mandate of MONUSCO does not seem to be an issue on which Council members diverge greatly. Yet there is likely to be discussion as to how the mission can best carry out its mandate, particularly with respect to protection of civilians, as the security situation in the east of the country deteriorates and the risk of an escalation of violence mounts.)

Additionally, Meece will likely address the issue of MONUSCO’s discussions with the DRC government concerning new approaches to disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) in the country and the mission’s role in supporting the completion of the electoral cycle. The Special Representative is also expected to elaborate on the report’s recommendation that MONUSCO continue to provide logistical and technical assistance to the electoral authorities. (The recent report recommends that MONUSCO assist the authorities in re-establishing the credibility of the Independent National Electoral Commission and in adopting a realistic electoral calendar. Elections for the provincial assemblies and local elections have been tentatively scheduled for January 2013.) The configuration of MONUSCO’s electoral assistance role will likely be a central issue in the negotiations of the new mandate.

During a meeting of troop contributing countries (TCCs) to MONUSCO on 6 June, Meece provided an update on the mutiny of formerly integrated Congrés national pour la défense du peuple (CNDP) members in North Kivu, led by International Criminal Court (ICC) fugitive Bosco Ntaganda. Meece also updated the TCCs on actions taken by the Congolese military against the CNDP and other rebel groups in eastern DRC and is likely to expand upon this in the briefing tomorrow.

On Wednesday (13 June), the DRC Sanctions Committee will also meet to hear a briefing from its Group of Experts (GoE) on their report. (The Council received an advance copy of the interim report in May.) Among other things, the GoE recommends updating the sanctions list based on new information on alleged child recruiters. The GoE called on the Council to strongly condemn the practice of child recruitment in the DRC. Currently, Council members are scheduled to hold consultations on DRC sanctions on 26 June.

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