It looks like this time the UN wants to take both itself and its potential seriously. As of now it is a welcome sign. Without security in North and South Kivu, and all of the country’s east, the Congo can never be healthy.
Without a stable Congo there cannot be a stable Africa. Nine states and over 10,000 kilometres of border will be disturbed and distracted. Those countries border almost the rest of the African continent.
The United Nations’ new mission in the Sudan and its more potent initiatives thus far in the Congo point to a resurgent governing body, both inclusive and executive in its decision making.
If the UN can manage to show its prowess in containing flash events like the eruption of violence west of Rwanda, it can find its truly-needed identity as a team really there to just help, while still respecting the sovereignty of all nations concerned.
The UN is taking the situation so seriously, though, that it has moved 90 per cent of Monuc’s active troops—close to 17,000—to the affected provinces.
This is promising to be a serious front. But will it not leave other regions of the country too vulnerable, too ignored? Whereas we may describe the Monuc force as the biggest single UN deployment, it still makes sense to draw this attention to the powers that be; that in the pursuit of higher ideals, some other countryside might be left open and therefore more vulnerable to rebel disruption.
Let also the Tripartite Plus Joint Commission take this as an opportunity to make this meeting—one of many— a historic one where the interested parties of central Africa finally put to rest what has troubled them for too long. If the UN is taking a decisive step forward, the TPJC should also follow suit and member countries stop flip flopping on their technical negative forces or otherwise, and actively go for them.