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Democratic Republic of Congo: Peacekeeping Operations

Volume 474: debated on Thursday 24 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the level of activity by United Nations peacekeeping personnel in the Bas-Congo province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo since the inception of the United Nations Organisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and if he will make a statement. (199224)

The UN maintains a permanent office in Matadi, the provincial capital of Bas Congo, and has a peace keeping presence in the province as part of its mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Additional peace keepers have deployed to Bas Congo following outbreaks of violence in the province in January and February 2007. The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for the DRC called for a peaceful resolution to violence in the province in February 2008. In March 2008 the UN deployed peace keepers and military observers to protect the civilian population in Bas Congo, assess events in the province and support the local authorities.

The UN faces significant challenges in maintaining peace in the Bas Congo province. Violence has occurred in various locations across the province and transporting troops is difficult because of the weak local infrastructure. The UN mission has commitments across the DRC, particularly in the east of the country, which have to be met to prevent a return to conflict.