Khassim Diagne : « MONUSCO has no other agenda in the DRC, except to restore peace »
« MONUSCO has no other agenda in the Democratic Republic of Congo than to restore peace. Do not believe the manipulators, they risk achieving their objective and it is counterproductive for all ".
This statement by the Acting Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in the DRC, Khassim Diagne, came on 28 July, three days after the demonstrations organised in Goma and Butembo, in North Kivu, to demand the departure of the UN Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO).
He was responding to a question from a listener who accused MONUSCO of having a hidden agenda in the DRC during the programme Dialogue entre Congolais broadcast on Radio Okapi, the UN radio.
Mr Diagne warned against manipulation and called on the population to be more vigilant: "We have a dangerous and invisible enemy. It is time to pool our efforts to neutralise him and focus on the essential.
The acting head of MONUSCO also announced that the Mission is maintaining its current positions and will continue to support the Congolese government in restoring peace, within the limits of its mandate.
He further referred to other civilian components of MONUSCO that are carrying out substantive work on the ground with various civil society partners and NGOs. "With our civilian components, we have already put in place early warning systems to thwart enemy plans and attacks," he said.
"It is in moments of adversity that our resilience is tested," added the acting head of MONUSCO. He assured that, even though it is in a phase of withdrawal, MONUSCO will continue to support the Armed Forces of the Republic and the Congolese government, in accordance with its mandate.
Don't pick the wrong target
The Minister of Communication and spokesperson for the Congolese government, Patrick Muyaya, also participated in the radio programme.
"We must not take the wrong target and be distracted Our common enemy is the M23, not MONUSCO. The Mission is our ally. We must recover Bunagana," he said.
He called on the Congolese people to be vigilant: "We have a dangerous enemy that we must fight. Let's be careful not to give him time to act by attacking MONUSCO, our partner in this fight.
The Minister also warned the population against all kinds of manipulation, saying he was dismayed by the fact that this manipulation is scattering the efforts of the Republic in the fight against armed groups.
"Because of the manipulation, we are emptying the reserves of our armed forces which we need to pacify the provinces plagued by insecurity. Right now we are using them to protect MONUSCO facilities and personnel. The enemy can take advantage of this," he regretted.
The Minister of Communication also stressed that the departure of MONUSCO does not mean that all problems will be solved. "We have to work on it," he said.
He maintained that the government understands the frustrations of its citizens and takes into consideration their opinions and feelings.
Mr Muyaya also recalled the government's prerogative to protect civilians: "It is the duty of the government to protect its citizens. The government has a mandate from the people, not MONUSCO.