DR Congo wants UN peacekeepers to leave in 2020


The Democratic Republic of Congo wants the United Nations mission in the country to leave in 2020, according to Foreign Minister Leonard She Okitundu.

She Okitundu made the remarks on Tuesday following a UN Security Council vote last week that extended the mandate of the peacekeeping mission for another year.

“We have let the Security Council know that the current mandate is considered to be the penultimate one, before the force leaves our county definitively after 20 years,” AFP quotes She Okitundu.

The UN has warned of a worsening humanitarian crisis in the DR Congo, with at least 13.1 million Congolese in need of aid, including 7.7 millionm who are severely food insecure.

The conflict in the country heightened in 2016 December following President Joseph Kabila’s refusal to step down at the end of his mandate.

The country’s electoral authority said then that it was unable to conduct a presidential vote due to logistical challenges.

Opposition leaders however accused Kabila of frustrating the electoral process in order to cling on to power.He however denied those allegations.

Following pressure from the international community, the country is now scheduled to hold the election on 23 December.

A donors conference organised by the UN and the EU is set to be held in Geneva on April 13, but DR Congo’s government said it would not attend it.

The conference was organised to raise US$1.7bn to tackle a humanitarian crisis that Kinshasa says has been vastly exaggerated by aid workers.

Last month, Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala confirmed that Kabila would not seek re-election in the December vote, and that he would hand over power peacefully to the new leader.

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