DR Congo expels peacekeepers


The Congolese government has said a regional peacekeeping mission will have to leave the country by Dec. 8 due to poor performance. The force was deployed by the East African Community (EAC) bloc last year amid an insurgency by the M23 rebel group, which is backed by Rwanda. Kinshasa wanted the force to militarily engage the M23, but that proved tricky given that Rwanda is an EAC member state. Fighting between the M23 and pro-government militias has intensified since the beginning of this month, rupturing a shaky ceasefire. More than 50,000 people have been displaced from their homes by the renewed fighting, with many seeking protection at a UN peacekeeping base.

The UN force has been present in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for over two decades but has lost local legitimacy as conflict has become entrenched. Kinshasa has asked the UN mission—which is also facing new allegations of sexual exploitation and violence—to likewise speed up its withdrawal process.

From The New Humanitarian, Oct. 13.

See our last reports on the M23 and the war in eastern DRC.

Photo: MONUSCO via Defense Post

  1. DRC: M-23 again closing in on Goma

    Renewed conflict between the M23 armed group and pro-government militias has displaced 200,000 people since the beginning of October, according to the UN. The fighting–which has reportedly reached 20 kilometers from Goma, the largest city in the east–comes as DR Congo heads into presidential elections in December. (TNH)

  2. DRC: power cut to Goma as rebels advance

    The main power lines to the city of Goma, in the North Kivu region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, were cut off Nov. 6 due to an escalation of fighting between M23 rebels and the armed forces, plunging the city into darkness. (Jurist)

  3. DRC presidential candidate suspends campaign after violence

    MoĂŻse Katumbi, a prominent political figure and candidate in the upcoming presidential elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, suspended campaign events following a violent incident at an election rally in the town of Muanda Dec. 12. Katumbi said that police fired live rounds during the event while Kongo Central governor Guy Bandu stated that Katumbi’s guards fired warning shots after the crowd grew disorderly. Several people were reportedly injured, including a police officer. (Jurist)

  4. Calls for DR Congo poll re-run as opposition cries foul

    Elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have drawn to a close but several candidates are already calling for a re-run and complaining of fraud. Logistical problems, faulty equipment, and delays in delivering election material forced an unscheduled ballot extension, which opposition leaders said was unconstitutional. In the run-up to the polls, rights groups had accused authorities of restricting the liberty of opposition politicians, and the UN documented violence against civil society actors. Fighting in eastern parts of the country also prevented 1.5 million displaced people from registering to vote.

    President FĂ©lix Tshisekedi is the frontrunner in the race, with the opposition fragmented. He took office in 2019 after contested elections that evidence suggests were actually won by another candidate. Security in the east has deteriorated during Tshisekedi’s tenure and a record seven million people are now internally displaced. (TNH)

  5. DRC: opposition defies ban on post-election protests

    Democratic Republic of the Congo authorities announced Dec. 26 planned protests against the electoral commission (CENI) would not be permitted. But marches were held in defiance of the ban in Kinshasa, to be met with tear-gas and, by some accounts, live fire.

    The protest was called by five oppositional candidates challenging incumbent President Felix Tshisekedi. Early results from the Dec. 20 election showed an 80% lead for President Tshisekedi. However, protestors say that the results were marred by irregularities. In remote areas of the country, the polls were pagued by logistics issues. So far, CENI has not released information about how many of the 44 million voters successfully cast their ballots. (RFI, Jurist)

  6. DRC constitutional court proclaims FĂ©lix Tshisekedi president

    Democratic Republic of Congo’s constitutional court on Jan. 10 rejected the petitions challenging the provisional results of December’s presidential election and officially confirmed FĂ©lix Tshisekedi as president of the country. (Jurist)