EDITORIAL: If Monusco is incapable, what is it still doing in DR Congo?

There is a popular Kinyarwanda saying; “Amaso yaheze mu kirere” that could literally be translated into; “Waiting for Manna to fall from Heaven”.

There is a popular Kinyarwanda saying; “Amaso yaheze mu kirere” that could literally be translated into; “Waiting for Manna to fall from Heaven”.

That is exactly the feeling one gets as all eyes turn towards the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and its partner, the 20,000-strong UN peacekeeping force, Monusco. Will they or will they not go after the FDLR rebels six weeks after the deadline to do so elapsed?

The most expensive peace keeping adventure is living truly to its billing; it is not capable or is unwilling to execute its mandate. But that is an old story that keeps repeating itself.

Without blowing our trumpet, it would serve it well to learn a few things from Rwandan peacekeepers wherever they have been stationed. They have gone beyond just keeping warring factions apart and keeping the peace, they have also contributed to social cohesion and wellbeing of the populations under their care.

Just this week, the Rwanda Defence Force contingent in South Sudan handed over another school to a local community whose children had never seen inside a classroom and had been studying under trees. Individual members of the contingent financially contributed to the project. They had previously done the same in Darfur.

Across the border, in the Central African Republic, and further across the oceans in Haiti,  similar stories are emerging, of how Rwandan peacekeepers are bringing back hope to the population and helping them get up on their feet.

Is this too much to ask of Monusco? It is time the UN Security Council woke up and restructured its unproductive peacekeeping mission by replacing current peacekeepers with those willing to fulfill its mandate. Lame excuses no longer have a place.

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