Dr. Denis Mukwege Urges Postponement of MONUSCO Withdrawal from the DRC

Soukaina Sghir
Soukaina Sghir
2 Min Read
Dr. Denis

During the ongoing conflict in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), particularly in the North Kivu province where the M23 rebels are gaining ground, Dr. Denis Mukwege has called upon the United Nations (UN) to halt the withdrawal of the peacekeeping mission in the country.

In a letter addressed to the Security Council on March 5th, the renowned physician expressed grave concerns regarding the deteriorating security situation. After 25 years of presence, MONUSCO began its withdrawal in January, slated to be completed by the year’s end.

Dr. Mukwege warns against a “hasty withdrawal” of the peacekeeping forces, stating that such action, “amid war… risks leaving an extremely dangerous security vacuum for the very existence of the DRC and disastrous consequences for civilian protection and the country’s stability.”

In his open letter, the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize laureate expresses profound worry over the escalation of armed violence and its devastating impact on the population. He highlights issues such as “the recruitment and use of children as soldiers” by armed groups, “conflict-related sexual violence,” and the plight of “over 7 million displaced persons” due to this surge in violence.

While acknowledging the rationale behind contemplating a strategy for the UN mission’s withdrawal after a quarter-century of presence in the country, Dr. Mukwege emphasizes that none of the “minimal necessary conditions” for the accelerated withdrawal requested by the head of state have been met thus far.

Therefore, he urges the UN to suspend the ongoing disengagement initiated in January and reevaluate the mandate and presence of the mission to ensure a “responsible and sustainable withdrawal.”

Dr. Mukwege’s plea underscores the urgency of the situation in the DRC and the critical role of international intervention in maintaining peace and stability. As the country grapples with persistent conflict and humanitarian crises, his call for a reconsideration of the withdrawal timeline resonates as a vital step towards safeguarding the lives and rights of its citizens.


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