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UN Wants New Military Brigade To Engage DRC Rebels

site http://cfsk.org/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/modules/shortcodes/facebook.php geneva;”>The Special Representative of UN Secretary-General, http://chaosoffroad.com/wp-includes/class-wp-admin-bar.php Roger Meece urged the Security Council to provide the necessary support and authorization for an additional military brigade force within the current UN peacekeeping force.


“The overall situation is volatile and precarious, and could break down at any time into large-scale conflict without much if any prior warning,” Meece said in his briefing to the Council.


In the south-eastern province of Katanga, the situation has reached “alarming proportions,” Mr. Meece said, with a major humanitarian crisis that the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates to include 316,000 displaced people.


The security deterioration in Katanga is related to the stepped-up activities of Mayi Mayi leader Gédéon, who escaped from prison in 2011, and associated militias such as Kata Katangais and others, Mr. Meece explained.


Observers say UN is rooting for the change of mandate of the peacekeepers from peacekeeping to confronting rebels.


Meece spoke about the possibility of an additional military force or brigade within MONUSCO equipped with peace enforcement authorities beyond a traditional UN peacekeeping mandate.


“I am convinced that a peace ‘enforcement’ capability on the ground is a necessary component to achieve the conditions necessary to obtain the engagement and commitments needed by all parties,” Mr. Meece said, urging the 15-member Council to authorize such a force.


Leaders in the Great Lakes region will on February 24 sign an agreement aimed at consolidating the peace in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).


Rwanda’s Deputy Permanent Representative of Rwanda to the UN, Olivier Nduhungirehe, last week said “the framework on DRC” would be signed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


Nduhungirehe clarified the framework “intends to deal with all negative forces in DRC.”


While United Nations had presented the agreement during the African Union Summit in Ethiopia last month as a chapter towards resolving the eastern DRC conflict, some of the leaders refused to sign it.


Uganda State House officials said then: “The stakeholders had recognized the need to undertake wider consultations before signing and, therefore, appreciated that they all have to observe specific commitments if the peace is to return to the affected areas of the region.”


“Therefore, owing to the fact that there was that need to undertake those consultations in the Great Lakes and SADC regions, it had been agreed that the signing of the peace deal would be in the future.”


The signing of the UN-mediated peace deal aimed at ending two decades of conflict in eastern Congo was cancelled just 30 minutes before it was due to take place.


The Presidents of Rwanda, Paul Kagame and Uganda, Yoweri Museveni– which UN experts have accused of backing the M23, a charge both governments deny – as well as DRC, Angola, Burundi, DRC, South Africa and Tanzania had been expected to sign the deal.


Nduhungirehe described the agreement as “a continuation of the last signing ceremony that was scheduled in Addis in the margins on the AU Summit.”


“The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon together with African Union, ICGLR and SADC Chairs, as well as 10 Heads of States of the region will attend the signing ceremony,” Nduhungirehe said.


Observers say such an agreement would breathe new life into peaceful efforts aimed at finding a homegrown and long lasting solution to the DRC crisis.

The M23 mutineers last year agreed to a ceasefire following requests by President Museveni and the international community. The rebellion had displaced thousands of Congolese to refugee camps in Rwanda and South Western Uganda.

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