The United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) will have completely withdrawn from the country by December 2024, according to the Secretary General’s Special Representative in the country and head of mission, Bintou Keita.
Keita made the announcement on Saturday in Kinshasa, capital of DRC.
“After 25 years of presence, MONUSCO will definitively leave the DRC no later than the end of 2024,” she said.
The withdrawal of the currently 13,500-strong MONUSCO force will begin in South Kivu, where some 2,000 peacekeepers will depart by April 30.
This will set the stage for the handover of 14 UN bases in the province to Congolese security forces.
Further departures of UN troops in North Kivu and Ituri will follow later.
The decision to pull the UN forces out of the DR Congo was approved by the Security Council in December, after Kinshasa requested the expedition of MONUSCO’s exit.
“MONUSCO and the government will ensure that the transfer of tasks and responsibilities in terms of security and protection of civilians will be effective before any withdrawal,” said Keita.