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UN seeks to boost its mission in DR Congo as violence spreads

Democratic Republic Of Congo

The UN secretary general is seeking an additional 320 police for the peace keeping mission in the central Africa country, as tensions over long-delayed elections have caused violence to spread into new areas of the vast territory.

According to a new report by Antonio Guterres, the UN chief told the UN Security Council that the December 31 power-sharing agreement reached by the DRC’s government and the opposition to hold presidential elections this year is in peril.

The report added that additional police for the UN mission will help “keep the political process on track.”

Guterres urged the deal’s speedy implementation,” starting with the appointment of a prime minster.”

Further delays will only serve to inflame tensions and fuel the violence that is now spreading into the country.

The Associated Press reports that the additional police for the UN mission would be deployed in Lumbumbashi and Kananga,” where there is a high risk of urban violence in the upcoming electoral period,” the reports says.

Guterres in also seeking 36 armored personnel carriers for the new and existing police units.

The peacekeeping mission in DRC is UN’s largest with more than 19,000 military members and a budget of over $1 billion.

The UN security council is expected to evaluate the mission later this month.

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