UN confirms resignation of MONUC commander

• Amid claims of lack of leadership in DRC The United Nations has confirmed that the Force Commander of the UN peace keeping forces in the Congo (MONUC), General Vicente Diaz de Villegas, has resigned less than a month after taking over the reins of the force.
Former MONUC force commander, Gen Babacar Gaye (L), welcoming his successor, Gen Vincente Diaz de Hellega. (Photo MONUC Myriam Asmani).
Former MONUC force commander, Gen Babacar Gaye (L), welcoming his successor, Gen Vincente Diaz de Hellega. (Photo MONUC Myriam Asmani).

• Amid claims of lack of leadership in DRC

The United Nations has confirmed that the Force Commander of the UN peace keeping forces in the Congo (MONUC), General Vicente Diaz de Villegas, has resigned less than a month after taking over the reins of the force.

UN spokesperson Michele Montas confirmed the news Monday evening in New York.

The New Times first broke the story over the weekend, quoting sources in the office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) in Kinshasa, but repeated requests for an official confirmation were stonewalled by UN officials.

Our sources had revealed that the Spanish General had handed in his resignation to the SRSG, Alan Doss, saying that the DRC government had no leadership worthy dealing with and also that MONUC lacked a clear vision and that the mission was headed for failure.

“His main reasons were that the mission lacked of a clear vision and was doomed to fail. His frustrations stem from his belief that the mission had been compromised from the word go. The DRC government authorities also came under his sharp criticism saying there was no serious leadership in the country,” Our source had revealed Saturday.

The resignation comes at a time when MONUC is overwhelmed by renewed fighting in North Kivu amid reports that it was siding with the government army (FARDC) in the war with rebels of the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) led by Gen. Laurent Nkunda.

General Villegas was appointed in August but took over his post at the end of September replacing Senegalese general Bubacar Gaye.

A fortnight ago UN helicopters opened fire on CNDP troops who were attempting to dislodge a combined forces of FARDC and Rwandan rebels of the FDLR from the town of Masisi.

Gaye and Alan Doss were accused of not doing enough to implement UN Security Council resolutions to disarm the FDLR, remnants of the former government army and Interahamwe militia responsible for the 1994 Genocide of Tutsis in Rwanda.

CNDP had continuously accused FARDC of fighting alongside the FDLR in the current conflict with the full knowledge of MONUC.

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