DR Congo asks UN force to start leaving this year



DR Congo President Félix Tshisekedi wants the UN force in his country to start leaving this year

Democratic Republic of Congo President Félix Tshisekedi has called for a speedier withdrawal of the UN force in his country to begin this year.

He told the UN General Assembly on Wednesday that he had instructed his government to begin talks with the UN to bring forward “the start of this progressive withdrawal from December 2024 to December 2023”.

He said the mission – known by the acronym Monusco – had failed to bring peace in the country despite being there for about 25 years, adding that it was “illusory and counterproductive to continue to cling” to the force to maintain peace.

“It is time for our country to take full control of its destiny and become the main actor in its own stability,” he told his audience in New York.

Monusco – with more than 16,000 personnel – is the second largest UN mission globally and has become increasingly unpopular in recent years.

It has been criticised for failing in its mission to bring about stability in eastern DR Congo, recently sparking protests in the region.

Last year, a Monusco special representative of the UN secretary general told the BBC that the peacekeeping mission would be evaluated amid the deadly protests, in which dozens were killed.