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Security Council extends mandate of UN mission in DRC
Last Updated: 2018-03-28 01:16 | Xinhua
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Photo taken on March 27, 2018 shows the United Nations Security Council voting on a draft resolution to extend the mandate of the UN stabilization mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for another year, at the UN headquarters in New York. The UN Security Council on Tuesday unanimously adopted a resolution to extend the mandate of the UN stabilization mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for another year, till March 31, 2019. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)

The UN Security Council on Tuesday unanimously adopted a resolution to extend the mandate of the UN stabilization mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for another year, till March 31, 2019.

Resolution 2409 maintains the troops levels of the mission at 16,215 military personnel, 660 military observers and staff officers, 391 police personnel, and 1,050 personnel of formed police units.

It decides that the strategic priorities of the mission, known by its French acronym as Monusco, are to protect civilians and to support the implementation of the Dec. 31, 2016 agreement and the electoral process.

The political agreement on Dec. 31, 2016 allowed President Joseph Kabila, who has been in power since 2001, to stay on after his term of office expired, on the condition that elections would be held within 2017. But elections were delayed on the grounds of logistics. On Nov. 5, 2017, the country's electoral commission published an electoral calendar for the combined presidential, legislative and provincial elections for Dec. 23, 2018.

It decides that Monusco should provide technical assistance and logistical support for the electoral process, and monitor, report, and follow up on human rights violations and abuses and violations of international humanitarian law.

Resolution 2409 authorizes Monusco to neutralize armed groups through its Intervention Brigade, whose mandate was also renewed for another year by the resolution.

It demands that all parties allow and facilitate the full, safe, immediate and unhindered access of humanitarian personnel, equipment and supplies and the timely delivery of humanitarian assistance to populations in need, in particular to internally displaced persons, throughout the country.

The resolution calls on all UN member states to generously donate funds to ensure that UN humanitarian agencies and other international organizations are fully funded and able to address the protection and assistance needs of internally displaced persons, survivors of sexual violence, and other vulnerable communities.

Weak governance and the existence of many active armed groups have led to widespread rape and sexual violence, massive human rights violations, and extreme poverty.

The Security Council said Thursday that the humanitarian situation has reached catastrophic levels in some parts of the DRC.

The number of internally displaced persons has more than doubled in the last year to reach 4.49 million. In addition there are 540,000 refugees within the country, as well as more than 714,000 refugees from the DRC in neighboring countries as a result of ongoing hostilities.

At least 13.1 million Congolese are in need of humanitarian assistance, including more than 7.7 million severely food insecure people, according to UN figures.

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