Security Council Authorizes Intervention Force In DR Congo

The U.N. Security Council (UNSC) on Thursday authorized deployment of an intervention force within the world body's current peacekeeping operation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to address imminent threats to peace and security.

The intervention brigade will carry out targeted offensive operations, with or without the Congolese National Army, against armed groups that threaten peace in the eastern part of DRC - a region prone to cycles of violence and consequent humanitarian suffering.

Objectives of the new force - which will be based in North Kivu province in eastern DRC and consist of 3,069 peacekeepers - are to neutralize armed groups, reduce the threat they posed to State authority and civilian security and make space for stabilization activities.

The brigade is established within the U.N. Organization Stabilization Mission in DRC (MONUSCO) for an initial period of one year. The unanimously adopted UNSC resolution also extended the U.N. mission until March 31, 2014.

The resolution also provides a new mandate for MONUSCO, by which it will support Congolese authorities to protect civilians, neutralize armed groups, and implement key reforms to consolidate peace in the country, particularly in the area of security sector reform and rule of law.

The newly-authorized intervention forces is designed to further support the political objectives of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework for the DRC and the region -a peace deal signed last month in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

UNSC demanded that the signatories of the Framework fully implement their commitments in good faith, and called on the newly designated Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region, Mary Robinson, to lead, coordinate and assess the implementation of these commitments.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the resolution, saying that it "sets out a new, comprehensive approach aimed at addressing the root causes of instability in the eastern DRC and the Great Lakes region."

Meanwhile, Under Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Herve Ladsous said the resolution's text reflected the shared desire of the international community to comprehensively address the root causes of the terrible cycle of violence witnessed in the DRC over nearly two decades.

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