Special force for DRC - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on the UN Security Council to authorise the deployment of a special force within the current UN peacekeeping operation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to address imminent threats to peace and security.
“The security situation in DR Congo remains fragile and demands urgent actions,” a UN statement issued on Wednesday quoted Ban to have said while briefing the Security Council on the situation in the DRC.
He said the 'Intervention Brigade will have the ability to conduct, with or without the Congolese national army, offensive operations against all armed groups that threaten peace in the eastern part of DRC – a region that is prone to cycles of violence and consequent humanitarian
“It will be established within the UN Organisation Stabilisation Mission in DRC (MONUSCO) for an initial period of one year, as proposed by the UN Secretary-General in a special report submitted to the Council on the DRC and the Great Lakes region.
“This enforcement capacity, which was initially called for by the regional actors, seeks to address the imminent threats to stability and will provide the most appropriate response to the active conflict environment in which MONUSCO has been operating for several years,” Ban told the Council.
The statement also disclosed that the establishment of the brigade is designed to further support the political objectives of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the region, which is contained in the peace deal signed last month in Addis Ababa,
The UN is serving as a guarantor of the agreement, together with the African Union, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the International Conference on the Great Lakes region (ICGLR).
Nearly a million people were displaced in the province of North Kivu during the clashes between the fighters from the rebel M23 group and the Congolese national army (FARDC) late last year, bringing the total number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in eastern DRC to 2.6 million.
Meanwhile, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has called for a further US$70 million for its operations in 2013 to help thousands of displaced civilians in the Great Lakes region.
The UNHCR said the money is for people uprooted by conflict in North and South Kivu last year, as well as anticipated displacements this year.