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UN peacekeepers withdraw from Kamanyola base as DR Congo police take charge

UN peacekeepers lowering UN and Pakistani flags, on the Kamanyola base in eastern DRC on Feb.28, 2024.   -  
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Cleared / AP

Democratic Republic Of Congo

Pakistani MONUSCO peacekeepers closed their Kamanyola base in eastern DRC on Wednesday (Feb. 28).

The Head of the UN Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo attended the ceremony.

“Kamanyola is the first MONUSCO base in South Kivu to close following the joint signing by the DRC (Congo) government and MONUSCO on 21 November 2023 of the note on the accelerated, gradual, orderly and responsible withdrawal of MONUSCO,” Bintou Keita who is also the special representative of the UN Secretary-General said.

The MONUSCO base was established in 2005. 

The Congolese National Police is from now on responsible for security in the region. 

The Kamanyola base is located in a particularly volatile area of the Ruzizi plain.

The interim Commander-in-Chief of MONUSCO forces said he was confident in their professionalism.

"I am aware of the existing challenges, but I am also confident in the ability of the Congolese defence and security forces to face the challenges with determination and professionalism,” Senegalese general Diouf Khar said.

The MONUSCO force arrived in Congo in 2010 after taking over from an earlier U.N. peacekeeping mission to protect civilians and humanitarian personnel and to support the Congolese government in its stabilization and peace consolidation efforts.

However, frustrated Congolese say that no one is protecting them from rebel attacks, leading to protests against the U.N. mission and others that have at times turned deadly.

Over the years of its existence, eastern DR Congo continues to be ravaged by more than 120 armed groups seeking a share of the region’s resources such as gold and trying to protect their communities, some accused of them of being quietly backed by DRC’s neighbors and foreign powers.

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