MONUSCO needs M23 protection in Goma pic.twitter.com/poChDcD2lh— Nicole Keza (@RwandaGihanga) July 25, 2022
In 1999, when the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) (MONUSCO) was founded, it was tasked with neutralizing armed groups, reducing the threat posed to state authority, and civilian security space for stabilization activities.
Since 1999, the UN has been trying to pacify this eastern region of the DR Congo. MONUSCO has nearly 20,000 soldiers and an annual budget of $1.4 billion (1.3 billion euros). Despite being the largest and most expensive mission of the United Nations, violence in the country continues.
To date, South and North Kivu regions remain lawless with dozens of marauding militias who continue to kill, rape young women and girls, maim, and terrorize innocent civilians.
Whenever there’s a conflict brewing in Congo, MONUSCO is always the last to know about it – and its interventions have tended to be very slow and often relatively ineffective. With an arsenal of modern weapons, the UN mission has also failed to engage the most notorious militia group in North Kivu province, the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF). DW.com
In fact, in 2012, protests against the M23 rebels spread to South Kivu province and thousands of residents took to the streets in Bukavu to vent their fury after the fall of Goma, the capital of the province, to the rebels.
The protesters, many of them students, attacked buildings used by the United Nations mission, whose peacekeepers they accuse of letting the M23 march into Goma unopposed after saying for months they would not let the city fall into the rebels’ hands.
In addition, there were terrible accusations leveled against Bangladeshi and South African peacekeepers in North and South Kivu, and it was a huge concern for local populations.
According to a UN report on special measures for protection from sexual exploitation and abuse, the total number of allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse received across the United Nations system in 2020 was 387. Go to Heartheircries.org to read more about the victims, many of whom are children and that the above numbers are just the tip of the iceberg. This must stop.
The continuous war in Congo is tribal and will probably never end. But the presence of the so-called peacekeepers angers some groups. On Monday, hundreds of people blocked roads and chanted hostile slogans before storming the MONUSCO’s headquarters and a logistical base, demanding that the mission leave the country.
Protesters smashed windows and looted valuables, while helicopters airlifted UN staff from the premises and security forces fired teargas in a bid to push them back.
As someone who would love to see the UN wound up and kicked out of Geneva and Manhattan I feel their pain. But how bad can they be that after all this time and with all this money spent on the situation, DRC is still war-torn, at the mercy of the unchecked UN troops, and no better off than they were in 1999?
I once toured the United Nations building in New York where they proudly display a world map pinned with locations of their “peace-keeping” forces. It was interesting to me that the UNCIP outfit created to monitor India and Pakistan in 1949 is still operational, as is UNFICYP located at the Cyprus Blue Beret Camp from 1964. Their successes are few and far between. They are not fit for purpose.
In 2020, the USA contributed more than $11 billion, which accounted for just under one-fifth of funding for the body’s collective budget. The United Kingdom paid £125,679,327. Was this money well spent?
It’s time to Defund the UN and get the USA and UK out from its clutches.