MONUSCO's withdrawal from Tanganyika: mission accomplished, according to Bintou Keita

According to the head of MONUSCO, even if everything is not settled, "what remains to be managed is manageable with continuity of support". Photos MONUSCO

24 Jun 2022

MONUSCO's withdrawal from Tanganyika: mission accomplished, according to Bintou Keita

Lydie Betyna

The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in the DRC, Bintou Keita, assured on Tuesday 21 June 2022 that MONUSCO is withdrawing from Tanganyika province after having accomplished its mission.

"Mission accomplished, certainly, insofar as we can responsibly leave and, knowing that there is a continuity of work by the provincial authority, there will be support from the national government. We are not leaving and giving up. We are leaving in a responsible way knowing that structures are there to continue to support Tanganyika province," she said.

Bintou Keita was answering questions from journalists after the official closing ceremony of the Mission's operations in Tanganyika.  She was accompanied by her two deputies, Khassim Diagne and Bruno Lemarquis, the Congolese Minister of Human Rights, Albert Fabrice Puela, and the Governor of Tanganyika Province, Julie Ngungwa.

The head of MONUSCO explained that, although not everything has been resolved, "what remains to be managed is manageable with continued support". According to her, of the six territories in Tanganyika province, at least four are now in the same situation as the other provinces where there has been no conflict.

"There are two territories, Nyunzu and Kalemie, north of Nyunzu, and also in the triangle of death, and here we are talking about Bendera, where there are still challenges at the security level, and about the rule of law, since in Bendera, you are dealing essentially with serious criminality beyond the attacks by the Mai-Mai groups," she acknowledged.

This is why MONUSCO maintains a presence of its troops in these northern regions of the province, which still face real insecurity. "In a responsible way, we say; for everything else there will continue to be agencies, funds and programs and especially the provincial authority, at the levels of the Governorate and the Provincial Assembly. And there will still be roles for the central government in continuing to build the capacity of the security apparatus here and particularly for these two territories," she explained.

And she concluded: "The major criteria is whether or not people are free to go about their traditional occupations, to go to the fields, to move around, without having to fear for their lives. This is an important element in measuring progress".

For his part, the national Minister of Human Rights assured that his government will support Tanganyika province. "The Democratic Republic of Congo is sovereign. And it is incidents of life that forced the UN to come to the aid of the DRC, as the country was facing serious problems in its daily life. But when someone gives you support, that does not mean that you remain children. The DRC must know how to live up to its responsibilities," he said.

He added: "The government thanks all the UN partners, through the Special Representative. It is now up to the Congolese government to fully assume its responsibilities. First, the national government, since it has exclusive powers, such as safeguarding territorial integrity, maintaining order and security; then there are areas of collaboration and exclusive areas reserved for the provincial government".

Finally, Minister Albert Fabrice Puela welcomed the arrival of a woman, Julie Ngungwa, at the helm of Tanganyika province, in accordance with the national policy of inclusion of women as well as with the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on peace, women and security. "The government will spare no effort to support them," he concluded.