Kabila wants MONUC out - reports

DR CONGO - Reports indicate that DRC President, Joseph Kabila wants the UN mission which has been in his country for nearly 10 years to start planning an exit strategy “as soon as possible.” Top diplomats and UN officials told wire services in New that the UN mission in the DRC (MONUC), currently the world’s biggest peacekeeping mission, is ‘quietly’ considering an exit strategy.
PONDERING NEXT MOVE:President Joseph Kabila
PONDERING NEXT MOVE:President Joseph Kabila

DR CONGO - Reports indicate that DRC President, Joseph Kabila wants the UN mission which has been in his country for nearly 10 years to start planning an exit strategy “as soon as possible.”

Top diplomats and UN officials told wire services in New that the UN mission in the DRC (MONUC), currently the world’s biggest peacekeeping mission, is ‘quietly’ considering an exit strategy.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, diplomats say Congolese President Joseph Kabila is putting pressure on the UN to come up with a plan to end the mission’s work.

These diplomats said Kabila says his country was now in position to monitor the security situation across mineral rich nation.

Analysts and diplomats who follow the situation in Congo seemed to back President Kabila’s new move, saying MONUC was increasingly becoming irrelevant to the DRC situation.

“I think President Kabila doesn’t want the depiction of a state of emergency which is at the moment associated with MONUC’s presence in the region – as he (Kabila) strategizes for the 2011 elections, he needs to go into the elections showing that the area has been pacified,” a top African diplomat told The New Times Monday.

“And, indeed, essentially – I see MONUC adding no value to Kabila’s chances or power in the east.”

In September, Congolese Information Minister Lambert Mende announced that MONUC would withdraw from the country by 2011, a year which will also mark the 50th anniversary of DRC’s independence.

Some MONUC officials have been accused of allegedly aiding the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebels, one of the militias groups considered as the root cause of eastern DRC’s security predicament.

They reportedly flew in doctors from Europe to treat ailing FDLR commander, Slvestre Mudacumura.  

FDLR rebels are remnants of the former Rwandan army – ex-Far, and Interahamwe militia who spearheaded the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

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