The UN security Council has extended its mandate in the DRC until 30th June 2011. In the process it has decided to change its mandate from MONUC to MONUSCO. So what does the change in name mean for those in the DRC?
MONUSCO, United Nations Organization Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, has a new mandate to bring stabilisation to the country with a reduced military personnel presence. 2,000 in fact will leave the DRC leaving over 19,000 remaining. Removal of military personnel will only be in places where security has improved.
My first reaction was concern on the reduction in numbers of peacekeepers on the ground at a time of insecurity in eastern Congo. How can the UN hope to achieve its mandate, which it has so far struggled to achieve, with less people? Will this increase the vulnerability of women? There is, however, a positive view in that the manadate has changed to bring one of much needed stabilisation to the region. This is a bold and brave move by the UN. It could also be a bad idea if the rebels continue to cause havoc in the communities and allegedly continue to rape & sexually abuse women.
One thing is for sure, the UN, MONUSCO, the government, the churches, need our prayer and support as they seek to bring peace and protection to the DRC.
Let us pray.