The UN Secretary General’s Special Representative and Head of the UN Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) Bintou Keita on Tuesday (5/10) said violence and access constraints in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo still continued to hamper humanitarian operations.
Keita highlighted two main challenges – namely the security and protection of civilians – and the process of consolidating democracy in Congo.
“As we approach the renewal of MONUSCO’s mandate, I believe that the joint transition plan is a roadmap that can assist MONUSCO in the years to come and prepare the basis for an orderly and responsible withdrawal of the mission,” said Keita.
“This should not obscure the fact that much remains to be done to end the violence in the east (Congo), and promote the political dialogue needed to pave the way for credible and transparent elections by 2023, and support the strengthening of state institutions in the long term. .”
Keita reiterated the need for an inclusive and peaceful electoral process that is based on “dialogue, trust and transparency.”
He added, “since the government declared sieges in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri, the mission has stepped up its efforts to support the armed forces, police and judicial authorities to restore the presence and authority of the state in each of these areas.”
In response to recent allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse during the handling of the Ebola pandemic, Keita said “I would like to underscore the steadfast commitment of MONUSCO and the United Nations country team to a zero-tolerance policy against sexual exploitation and abuse, and to providing comprehensive assistance to victims.”
The humanitarian team for Congo, he added, has strengthened prevention systems and systems to tackle sexual exploitation and violence by providing $1.5 million through a joint humanitarian fund. (em / jm)