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Sat, 29 May 2010 10:50 - Updated Sat, 29 May 2010 10:49

Security Council Agrees to Convert UN Mission in Congo into Stabilization Force

Kinshasa

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Kinshasa - The Security Council Friday extended the current mandate of the United Nations peacekeeping force in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) by one month and agreed to transform the operation so that from then on it becomes a stabilization mission in the vast African nation.

"In view of the new phase that has been reached in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the United Nations mission in that country, MONUC, shall, as from 1 July 2010, bear the title of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO)," the Council said in a unanimously adopted resolution.

MONUC's mandate now extends through 30 June, when it becomes MONUSCO, which has been authorized to stay in the DRC until 30 June next year.

The resolution also authorized the withdrawal of up to 2,000 UN military personnel by 30 June this year from areas where security has improved enough to allow their removal.

The Council decided that MONUSCO shall comprise, in addition to the appropriate civilian, judiciary and correction components, a maximum of 19,815 military personnel, 760 military observers, 391 police personnel and 1,050 personnel of formed police units.

It also authorized the mission to keep a reserve force capable of redeploying rapidly elsewhere in the country, while concentrating its military forces in the east of the country.

The Council stressed that the DRC Government bore the primary responsibility for security, peacebuilding and development in the country, and encouraged Kinshasa to remain fully committed to protecting the population through the establishment of professional and sustainable security forces.

It also encouraged the Government 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.

"Future reconfigurations of MONUSCO should be determined on the basis of the evolution of the situation on the ground," the Council said in its resolution.