Significant progress has been achieved since the Security Council
established the peacekeeping operation in the DRC 1] in 1999 to end
a conflict that drew in several rebel
groups and foreign powers. The foreign armies withdrew and more than 50 Congolese armed groups were dismantled and their forces demobilized or integrated into the national armed forces. Congo’s first democratic elections were held in 2006 with the support of the international community through the United Nations. Many of the areas that experienced violent conflict saw significant improvements in security, allowing more than two million displaced persons to return home. In early 2009, a strategic rapprochement between Rwanda and the DRC helped to bring to an end the CNDP rebellion and enabled unprecedented joint MONUSCO/FARDC operations against the FDLR. Elections were carried out in November 2011 under the full responsibility of DRC national institutions with financial, technical and logistical support from the United Nations and international donors. International and national observers reported irregularities in the process which led to claims of electoral fraud by main opposition candidates. The result was distrust and low confidence in the country’s political representatives and institutions and heightened post-electoral tension. In early 2012, former CNDP elements defected from the FARDC and established the “M23” rebel movement which attacked government forces and took control of border areas of Rutshuru and Masisi territories (North Kivu). This led to further conflict, increased insecurity, and population displacement. The population continues to have high expectations of MONUCO intervention, requiring continued sensitization on MONUSCO’s mandate. The decentralization process has been delayed since the revision in the Constitution, postponing the establishment of new provinces to a date yet to be fixed. There have also been delays in organizing local and provincial elections. In the short term, continued support to stabilization and peace consolidation will continue to be required. In the transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding, Civil Affairs plays a key role in facilitating reconstruction, in particular in stabilization and peace consolidation, and in strengthening the Government and key local development partners, including direct support to integrated United Nations offices, which is fundamental for MONUSCO’s exit strategy.
Armed groups and undisciplined FARDC elements constitute a source of continuing abuses and human rights violations against civilian populations. Throughout the country, the need for humanitarian interventions persists where the government remains unable to respond to minor threats to the impoverished population. Progress on building State capacity to begin to assume responsibility in these areas depends on positive changes in the security situation and the ability of the security apparatus to underpin economic and social development. Where the State lacks the capacity to meet its responsibility to protect civilians, the mission’s military component acts within the limits of its own capacity to actively develop, support and implement POC.
Significant structural factors of fragility could undermine the gains realized over the past ten years. These include inter alia the FDLR, the growing Raia Mutomboki movement, the LRA and Mai-Mai groups, and the “M23” group, which continue to pose a threat for civilian populations in the Northern and Eastern DRC as well as localized conflicts of a civilian nature, which have erupted in previously stable areas, such as Equateur, Bandundu and the Kasais. A legacy of conflict and human rights violations, including violations of civil, political, economic and social rights, coupled with the absence of the rule of law and a functioning judiciary have fostered the creation of local militia, stifled political institutions and eroded the authority of traditional leaders. Issues related to land ownership; use of natural resources, ethnicity, traditional and local leadership, decentralization and the environment constitute the major root causes for conflict, particularly in areas of returning IDPs and refugees. Sexual violence against women and girls remains one of the most horrifying aspects of armed conflict.
Decades of poor governance have eroded State authority. In many areas, the capacity of central and local authorities to govern, deliver social services, levy taxes and restore the rule of law continues to be hampered by rampant corruption and weak administrative management. Emerging political institutions are prone to instability. In particular, difficulties in implementing the provincial and local elections, the decentralization process and the planned redefinition of provincial boundaries could exacerbate local conflicts and existing tension between central and provincial authorities. Weak State authority has allowed armed domestic and foreign groups to take control of areas of Congolese territory and resources for illegal gain. Despite their increasing presence throughout the DRC, civil society and the media, the traditional Government watchdogs, remain undermined by a lack of resources and capacity, and are in need of improved management and communications.
The absence of access to public services, including education and health and widespread poverty caused by the lack of economic opportunity, continue to provide fertile ground for recruitment of unemployed youth by armed groups. In 2011, DRC was ranked last out of 187 countries listed in the UNDP Human Development Index, 50 out of 53 in the Mo Ibrahim Governance Index, 168 out of 183 in the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index and in 2012, it ranked 178 out of 183 in the World Bank Doing Business Index. These rankings show the daunting task of the Government and its partners in their efforts to bring about stability and deliver peace dividends to its population. The GoDRC Stabilization and Reconstruction Programme for War-Affected Areas (STAREC) addresses territories previously under the control of armed groups and is supported by the International Security and Stabilization Support Strategy (ISSSS), coordinated by MONUSCO and other United Nations agencies (further details are provided under section 1.2j).
Peace consolidation efforts can be strengthened in the Western regions by addressing the structural causes of fragility. This involves working with local, provincial and national authorities, civil society and local communities on conflict mitigation, strengthening local governance and justice systems, and providing basic social services and employment opportunities. Stabilization and peace consolidation frameworks will remain complementary and mutually reinforcing to support national reconstruction efforts. The Humanitarian ‘Early Recovery’ cluster will serve as a link between humanitarian and peace consolidation programming. In areas of the country that are entering a post-conflict phase, (for example, Matadi, Mbuji Mayi, and Kananga), integrated United Nations offices will be established to work on the implementation of the United Nations Transitional Framework (UNTF) that defines a shared vision of the United Nations system for the DRC and draws on and is aligned with national development objectives outlined in, inter alia, the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRSP) and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF).
The justice system of the DRC has been weakened and has become a factor of instability due to the absence of qualified personnel, the lack of infrastructure allowing judicial staff to operate, corruption, political sensitivities (many criminals escape prosecution for political reasons) and inequitable judicial decisions which have further fuelled conflict. Incidents/cases of sexual gender-based violence are under-reported for a number of reasons, not least the lack of confidence amongst victims in the justice system and a continued climate of impunity. Impunity remains with regard to Human Rights Violations. The situation of women is one of the worst in the world with a high number of victims of sexual and gender-based violence.
On 27 June 2012, the Security Council extended the mandate of MONUSCO, by adopting SCR 2053, until 30 June 2013, urging the Congolese authorities to reform their security sector and end armed insurgencies and abuse of human rights in the vast African country. The Council renewed the mandate of MONUSCO unchanged, but reiterated that future reconfigurations of the Mission should be determined on the basis of the evolution of the situation on the ground, ending violence in the eastern provinces, security sector reform and consolidation of State authority throughout the national territory. The new resolution focuses on the protection of civilians and the reform of the security sector, and mandates MONUSCO to provide technical and logistical support for the organization and holding of provincial and local elections, the development and implementation of a global national security strategy, the reduction of the threat posed by the LRA and other armed groups and the implementation of national stabilization and peace consolidation programmes. Based on the Mission’s renewed mandate, Civil Affairs supports the gradual transition from peacekeeping to stabilization, peace-building and development.
The Mission’s headquarters in Kinshasa focuses on planning and centralized operations that cannot be delegated to the field offices and on the allocation of resources to the field. The Mission provides decentralized support to the 17 field offices. 92% of the force is deployed in the East. Military observers and United Nations Police Officers (UNPOL) remain deployed throughout the country. The Mission maintains logistics bases in Kinshasa and Entebbe, Uganda and liaison offices in Kigali and Kampala.
The strategic outputs expect to see improved prioritization of protection activities through the establishment of integrated POC strategies, enhanced data monitoring and analysis; better prevention, mitigation and anticipation of protection risks on civilians, including IDPs and returnees; improved access to legal assistance, rehabilitation and protection of victims; promotion of the rule of law, restoration of legitimate, democratic authority, and implementation of durable solutions. The results will be achieved through effective collaboration between Protection Cluster members and actors involved in the comprehensive strategy on combating sexual violence and in the International Security and Stabilization Support Strategy.
The Peace Consolidation Programme and the Joint Justice Strategy are expected to support areas emerging from conflict in the west of the country by strengthening the rule of law and justice systems, establishing State legitimacy at central and local levels, conflict prevention and mitigation, the expansion of basic services and the creation of employment opportunities. Broad-based partnerships, including with the government and other partners involved, will be required in the peace consolidation process. Providing a substantive and operational platform for other actors across the territory will continue to be essential.
Successful recovery from conflict requires the engagement of a broad range of actors, including the national authorities and the local population, in a long-term peace-building effort. The rationale for the integrated mission strategy is to facilitate a gradual movement from humanitarian and protection activities and, as the security situation improves, from stabilization and peace consolidation towards development and solving the structural causes of conflict. MONUSCO is an integrated mission and shares a common strategic plan with the UNCT, providing a shared understanding of the objectives of the United Nations in DRC. This includes priorities and types of programme interventions that need to be undertaken at various stages of the recovery process. Civil Affairs facilitates this integrated process, seeking to maximize its contribution by engaging its different capabilities in a coherent and mutually supportive way through clear institutional relations, good communication and coordination between the Mission and the United Nations system already present in the country. This is not a linear process and a number of areas may find themselves at different stages. However, over time the expected shift from emergency to recovery will imply a shift by the Mission towards the UNCT and other international partners. Because of its flexible nature, Civil Affairs will be the key component in facilitating the gradual transition towards nation building in all its stages.
On 27 June 2012, SCR 2053 [reiterates] that the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo bears primary responsibility for security, national reconciliation, peacebuilding and development in the country, and [encourages] the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to remain fully committed to protecting the civilian population through the establishment of professional and sustainable security forces and the establishment of rule of law and respect for human rights, to promote non-military solutions as an integral part of the overall solution for reducing the threat posed by Congolese and foreign armed groups and to restore full State authority in the areas freed from armed groups. The Security Council reaffirmed that POC must be given priority in decisions about the use of available capacity and resources and [encourages further] the use of innovative measures implemented by MONUSCO in the protection of civilians.
In line with SCR 1925, SCR 1991 and SCR 2053, and based on the latest Stabilization Priority Plan 2012-13, MONUSCO, in close collaboration with other United Nations agencies, coordinates the International Security and Stabilization Support Strategy (ISSSS) framework in support of the GoDRC Stabilization and Reconstruction Program for War-Affected Areas (STAREC). This covers territories previously under the control of armed groups in Equateur, Orientale, Maniema, North Kivu and South Kivu Provinces. STAREC seeks to deliver targeted stabilizing interventions in four programme areas: improved security environment; restoration of State authority in territories previously under the control of armed groups; return, reintegration & recovery; and economic recovery. The overall objective of the ISSSS is to provide international assistance to the DRC’s national efforts to secure and stabilize conflict-affected areas of Eastern DRC. As a transitional strategy to move from peacekeeping towards peacebuilding in Eastern DRC, the ISSSS focuses on five key areas of support: security; political processes; restoration of state authority; return, reintegration and recovery; and the fight against sexual violence. Civil Affairs will continue to play a key role in the development and application of a participatory and demand-driven implementation approach for STAREC, with capacity reinforcement of civil administration in North and South Kivu provinces and in Ituri district. SCR 2053 emphasizes and further defines the explicit mandate of MONUSCO to pursue stabilization actions.
The United Nations system is spearheading the development of a Peace Consolidation Strategy focusing specifically on areas not covered by STAREC. The strategy aims to strengthen the government peace consolidation in order to tackle the factors of fragility, including addressing conflict drivers, strengthening justice and governance systems, and providing basic services and employment opportunities in target communities. The PCP strategy is based on national leadership, prioritization of early recovery, an integrated approach, building on existing structures, applying best practices and involving community structures, including civil society . SCR 2053 requests the donor community, including the UNCT, to support the GoDRC with the formulation and implementation of a Peace Consolidation Programme (PCP). The two main PCP objectives, which complement each other, are to support social cohesion, promoting economic and community recovery and to strengthen State authority. The MONUSCO Integrated Office is responsible for supporting the PCP. Civil Affairs will continue to play a key substantive role in the formulation of the PCP and in laying the groundwork for its inception.
SCR 1991 and SCR 2053 request MONUSCO and GoDRC to carry out joint missions to take stock of the level of progress in the achievement of MONUSCO and GoDRC objectives. These are undertaken by Ministers of the Interior and of Security in the Eastern provinces, the provincial representatives of the various security services, the FARDC, the PNC, Military Intelligence, the Agence Nationale de Renseignements (ANR), the Direction Générale de Migration (DGM), representatives of HoO, UNPOL, Military and Civil Affairs. These missions cover 24 territories in five provinces and report on security, including the threat of armed groups, the status of FARDC, POC, the level of State authority, including PNC, justice and (prison) administration and elections. The joint missions fall under JMAC’s responsibility and last on average one month. The reports provide the basis for future reconfigurations of MONUSCO.
 MONUC was established on 30 November 1999 through SCR 1279. It was followed
up by MONUSCO established SRC 1925 on 1 July 2010 through. SCR 2053 of 27 June 2012 authorizes MONUSCO’s extension up to 30 June 2013.