All posts by COL L. Bortoluzzi Garcia

MONUSCO – Strength

Last update on: 24 November 2020

The MONUSCO Strength sources can be located on and  MONUSCO Fact Sheet​​​​​​​

These products are the results of academic research and intended for general information and awareness only. They include the best information publicly available at the time of publication. Routine efforts are made to update the materials; however, readers are encouraged to check the specific mission sites at or

Congo (DRC) Country Profile – Economy

Last update on: 14 September 2020

From Cia Factbook (Page last updated on October 06, 2020)

Economy – overview:

The economy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo – a nation endowed with vast natural resource wealth – continues to perform poorly. Systemic corruption since independence in 1960, combined with countrywide instability and intermittent conflict that began in the early-90s, has reduced national output and government revenue, and increased external debt. With the installation of a transitional government in 2003 after peace accords, economic conditions slowly began to improve as the government reopened relations with international financial institutions and international donors, and President KABILA began implementing reforms. Progress on implementing substantive economic reforms remains slow because of political instability, bureaucratic inefficiency, corruption, and patronage, which also dampen international investment prospects.

Renewed activity in the mining sector, the source of most export income, boosted Kinshasa’s fiscal position and GDP growth until 2015, but low commodity prices have led to slower growth, volatile inflation, currency depreciation, and a growing fiscal deficit. An uncertain legal framework, corruption, and a lack of transparency in government policy are long-term problems for the large mining sector and for the economy as a whole. Much economic activity still occurs in the informal sector and is not reflected in GDP data.

Poverty remains widespread in DRC, and the country failed to meet any Millennium Development Goals by 2015. DRC also concluded its program with the IMF in 2015. The price of copper – the DRC’s primary export – plummeted in 2015 and remained at record lows during 2016-17, reducing government revenues, expenditures, and foreign exchange reserves, while inflation reached nearly 50% in mid-2017 – its highest level since the early 2000s.

GDP (official exchange rate): $41.44 billion (2017 est.)

GDP – real growth rate:

3.4% (2017 est.)

2.4% (2016 est.)

6.9% (2015 est.)

GDP – per capita (PPP):

$800 (2017 est.)

$800 (2016 est.)

$800 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Population below poverty line: 63% (2014 est.)

Agriculture – products: coffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber, tea, cotton, cocoa, quinine, cassava (manioc, tapioca), bananas, plantains, peanuts, root crops, corn, fruits; wood products

Industries: mining (copper, cobalt, gold, diamonds, coltan, zinc, tin, tungsten), mineral processing, consumer products (textiles, plastics, footwear, cigarettes), metal products, processed foods and beverages, timber, cement, commercial ship repair 18.2% (2016 est.).

Other sources about Congo (DRC) Economy

These products are the results of academic research and intended for general information and awareness only. They include the best information publicly available at the time of publication. Routine efforts are made to update the materials; however, readers are encouraged to check the specific mission sites at or

Congo (DRC) Country Profile – Social

Last update on: 3 June 2021

From https: Cia Website (Page last updated on June 03, 2021)

Population: 105,044,646 (July 2021 est.) / note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected

Nationality: Congolese

Ethnic groups: more than 200 African ethnic groups of which the majority are Bantu; the four largest tribes – Mongo, Luba, Kongo (all Bantu), and the Mangbetu-Azande (Hamitic) – make up about 45% of the population

Languages: French (official), Lingala (a lingua franca trade language), Kingwana (a dialect of Kiswahili or Swahili), Kikongo, Tshiluba

Religions: Roman Catholic 29.9%, Protestant 26.7%, Kimbanguist 2.8%, other Christian 36.5%, Muslim 1.3%, other (includes syncretic sects and indigenous beliefs) 1.2%, none 1.3%, unspecified .2% (2014 est.)

Demographic profile:

Despite a wealth of fertile soil, hydroelectric power potential, and mineral resources, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) struggles with many socioeconomic problems, including high infant and maternal mortality rates, malnutrition, poor vaccination coverage, lack of access to improved water sources and sanitation, and frequent and early fertility. Ongoing conflict, mismanagement of resources, and a lack of investment have resulted in food insecurity; almost 30 percent of children under the age of 5 are malnourished. The overall coverage of basic public services – education, health, sanitation, and potable water – is very limited and piecemeal, with substantial regional and rural/urban disparities. Fertility remains high at almost 5 children per woman and is likely to remain high because of the low use of contraception and the cultural preference for larger families.

The DRC is a source and host country for refugees. Between 2012 and 2014, more than 119,000 Congolese refugees returned from the Republic of Congo to the relative stability of northwest DRC, but more than 540,000 Congolese refugees remained abroad as of year-end 2015. In addition, an estimated 3.9 million Congolese were internally displaced as of October 2017, the vast majority fleeing violence between rebel group and Congolese armed forces. Thousands of refugees have come to the DRC from neighboring countries, including Rwanda, the Central African Republic, and Burundi.

Other information about Congo (DRC) – Social:

a. Rule of Law. The police have violently cracked down on internal dissent. Protests and demonstrations will continue as the political election process—and progress—remains in doubt. Most legal justice is implemented by external agencies, such as the International Criminal Court (ICC) rulings against a former Congolese rebel leader (and vice president) guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity (for the rapes and killings committed by his troops in the Central African Republic from 2003 to 2006). It was the first such case to focus on the use of sexual violence as a tool of war.

b. Human Rights. The DRC human rights record remains problematic, with unlawful killings, disappearances, torture, and rape committed by all armed groups, and arbitrary arrest and detention carried out by state security forces. All actors continued to recruit and retain child soldiers and to compel forced labor by adults and children. There appears to be negligible legal accountability for these activities. As an example, no investigation was completed in regards to mass grave found in 2015 However, the 2017 arrest of seven DRC military officers, charged with war crimes based on video evidence, is a noteworthy exception. The rationale for—and perpetrators of—the continued communal violence is unclear: 

“While government officials have insisted that the recent Ituri violence is the consequence of inter-ethnic tensions between the ethnic Lendu and Hema communities, local leaders and survivors we spoke to have been left baffled. While low-level tensions existed – like in many parts of Congo – the communities were not preparing to go to war with each other. Many survivors referred to a “hidden hand” when describing those who might be behind the attacks: Seemingly professional killers came into their villages and hacked people to death with notable efficiency and brutality, in what appeared to be pre-meditated and well-planned attacks. Some alleged that government officials may be involved.”

In addition, in April 2018 the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reported: “at least 27 cases in recent months of security forces briefly detaining, threatening, or assaulting journalists as they covered violence and protests calling for President Joseph Kabila to step down.”

c. Humanitarian Assistance. In March 2018, the UN Security Council met to discuss the humanitarian situationin the DRC, calling it “catastrophic”:

“…at least 13.1 million Congolese in need of humanitarian assistance, including more than 7.7 million severely food insecure people…the very high number of internally displaced persons in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which has more than doubled in the last year to more than 4.49 million, and the 540,000 refugees in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as the more than 714,000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in neighboring [sic] countries as a result of ongoing hostilities.”

They further “expressed concern at increased impediments to humanitarian access in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo resulting from insecurity and violence, as well as continued attacks against humanitarian personnel and facilities.”

Almost 30 percent of children under the age of 5 are malnourished despite fertile soil and other vast power and mineral resources. Just over half of the total population has access to improved water, with better access in urban areas compared to rural areas. In contrast, almost 75% of the population has no access to improved sanitation, with negligible difference between urban and rural areas. Consequently, the risk of disease is very high. In 2016, 25,030 people died from cholera, malaria, measles, or yellow fever. Malaria was the leading cause of death and hospitalization, with over 14.1 million cases reported from 

In February 2017, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), announced a three-year Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), requesting “$748 million to address the most critical needs of 6.7 million people…to allow humanitarian partners to focus on preparedness and flexible, long-term funding…between now and 2019.” Reductions in U.S. Government funding for aid significantly impact the programs in the DRC.

January to December 2016, including over 23,800 deaths. The outbreak of “Angola Yellow Fever” started in December 2015, was declared “the end” in February 2017, after almost 3,000 suspected cases reported.

Translators without Borders (Interactive) Website

d. Protection of Civilians (PoC)

The Protection of Civilians (PoC) has always been a challenge for MONUSCO, given the size of the territory it has to protect and significant insecurity due to the activity of armed groups in the eastern territories. Over time, MONUSCO has established different mechanisms for responding to threats against civilians, many of which are outlined in the text box below. These approaches have also served as a model for other peacekeeping missions. The Joint Protection Teams (JPTs) were meant to bring the civilian and military components of the mission into closer alignment, while the Must-Should-Could Matrix allowed all aspects of the mission to set realistic expectations about protection priorities. In order to foster better communication with vulnerable populations, the civilian component of the mission established an elaborate network of community liaisons. These liaisons helped establish an alert network that serves as an early warning tool for threats against the population. Over time, MONUSCO sought to have better visibility on the armed groups that posed a threat to the population, which led to the procurement of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for the mission in 2015. ​​​​​​​

Protection Tools Established by MONUSCO
Joint Protection Teams (JPTs): Established after the 2008 Kiwanja (North Kivu) massacre of more than 100 people near a MONUC camp. JPTs are multi-disciplinary teams deployed to hotspots needing protection to analyze protection needs and define preventive and responsive interventions to address them. JPTs bring together the military, police, and civilian components of the Mission for a multidimensional analysis of threats and protection needs, and to devise preventive and responsive protection plans in given field locations. 
Must-Should-Could Matrix: A joint planning exercise between MONUSCO and the humanitarian community to help identify priority areas according to the level of threat and degree of vulnerability of the local population in given hotspots. 
Community Liaison Assistants (CLAs): National staff working alongside troops in military bases to enhance interaction between the Force and local communities and authorities, analyze protection needs, and inform protection strategies and plans. 
Community Alert Networks (CANs): Early-warning mechanism based on a network of focal points in communities surrounding MONUSCO bases. CANs stay in touch via radio or mobile phones to alert one another in case of an imminent threat. Lately, they have developed a specific phone number (like 911). 
Local Security Committees (LSCs): Established at the provincial and territorial level to provide a framework through which they can engage with local officials and civil society. 
Prosecution Support Cells: Established to bolster military prosecution capabilities. 
Source: Various Tools for the Protection of Civilians, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Children and Armed Conflict (CAAC)

Among the above protection concerns, considerable progress has been made with reducing the use of child soldiers by the FARDC (Norwegian Institute). From 2014-2017, a total of 7,736 children (7,125 boys, 611 girls) were separated from armed groups and demobilized by MONUSCO and other UN agencies (UNSC Report on Children and Armed Conflict in the DRC 2018).[i] However, numerous armed groups continued to forcibly recruit children and use them as fighters, human shields, tax and food collectors, porters, cooks, mine laborers, and sexual slaves or “wives” to armed forces (Ibid, UNSC 2018).

e. Women, Peace, and Security (WPS)

Women, Peace, and Security considerations are based on SCRES 1325, which is comprised of four pillars; participation of women in the political process and security sector, protection of women and girls from violence, prevention of gender-based violence, and ensuring that relief and recovery activities account for different needs within the population by age and gender, such as the special needs of women and girls, and boys and men.  

The United Nations has encouraged nations to develop their own National Action Plans (NAPs) on implementing SCRES 1325. The DRC Ministry for Gender, Children, and Family developed a NAP in 2010, which was updated in September 2018. The NAP highlights that equality between men and women and the elimination of sexual violence is within Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution.

Since the first NAP in 2010, President Kabila nominated the first female generals in the Armed Forces of (FARDC) and nominated other senior officers for promotion. The police force has 10% of female officers. Ongoing difficulties in the security sector are due to the low overall rate of female participation in the force, which makes it harder to promote women to command positions, and women also need to be recruited to join the armed forces. DRC NAP 2018 

The plan further acknowledges ongoing challenges to achieving progress on WPS; insufficient female participation in governance, low number of women in command positions in the security sector, the persistence of violence, impunity for human rights violations, and insufficient funding to implement the first plan have led to gaps in progress. 

The 2018 plan sets a target for 20% female participation in peace processes and political negotiations at all levels of government. The NAP also calls for an increase in women’s participation in the security sector, above current levels; Army (2.8%), Police (6.7%), and Judicial Sector (19.4%). The demobilization of women who have been forcibly recruited into non-state armed groups is also a priority objective. For examples of women in the armed forces, see We are fighters too (Washington Post 07 March 2019). 

The NAP also calls for the demobilization of armed groups and a reduction in small arms that proliferate violence, an increase in police and justice sector action to hold perpetrators accountable for sexual violence, and the promotion of women’s economic opportunities as a mechanism for reducing inequalities exacerbated by conflict.

  • Participation: although the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of the Congo lays a foundation for gender equality, women fill less than 10% of key government offices. However, in 2019, Janine Mabunda was selected to head the Congolese National Assembly. She was nominated by former President Kabila, further signifying his considerable influence over the new government (Africa News 26 April 2019). 
  • Protection
    • Conflict-Related Sexual Violence (CRSV): despite protection actions taken by the mission, conflict-related sexual violence remains a major concern in the DRC. In 2018, MONUSCO documented 1,049 cases of CRSV against 605 women, 436 girls, 4 men, and 4 boys. Of these cases, 741 were attributed to armed groups and 308 were attributed to the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Congolese National Police. The majority of verified incidents occurred in North and South Kivu Provinces (UN Office Special Representative for Sexual Violence in Conflict 2019).[ii]The UN Special Representative for Sexual Violence in Conflict has urged the Government of the DRC to increase state and security presence in mining areas and to vet and train armed forces. Ensuring accountability for offenses by upholding a zero-tolerance policy and bringing offenders to justice is also key to ending the cycle of sexual violence. While the Security Council has sought to strengthen monitoring and reporting mechanisms for CRSV, most notably from the recent passage of UNSCRES 2467 on 29 April 2019 calling for stronger reporting mechanisms, some member states have resisted this approach.
    • Prevention: in 2014, the Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC) developed an action plan on the prevention of sexual violence by the military. Every commander working in the FARDC signed the declaration (UN Women). The pledge outlines the following commitments:
      • Respecting human rights and international humanitarian law in relation to sexual violence; Taking action against sexual violence committed by soldiers under their command;
      • Ensuring the prosecution of alleged perpetrators of sexual violence under their command;
      • Facilitating access to areas under their command to military prosecutors and handing over perpetrators within their command that are under investigation, have been indicted or convicted;
      • Undertaking disciplinary measures against soldiers suspected of involvement in sexual violence
      • Reporting to the FARDC leadership any incidents or allegations committed within their AoR
      • Sensitizing soldiers under their command about the zero-tolerance policy on sexual violence
      • Taking specific measures to ensure the protection of victims, witnesses, judicial actors and other stakeholders involved in addressing sexual violence.

The extent to which this pledge has reduced instances of sexual violence by the FARDC is unclear. However, UN reports indicate that a high percentage of conflict-related sexual violence in the DRC is committed by non-state actors. ​​​​​​​

  • ​​​​​​​Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA): according to the UN’s database, there have been 6 reports of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) against MONUSCO personnel (civilians and uniformed) in 2019, and 19 reports in 2018. These allegations include rape, transactional sex, and exploitative relationships involving troops from South Africa, Morocco, Romania, and Nigeria.[iii]
South African personnel SEA allegations are significantly more than those ascribed to any other MONUSCO T/PCC contingent. Therefore, at the invitation of South Africa, MONUSCO’s Conduct and Discipline Team directed pre-deployment “Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse” training for 820 South African peacekeepers in May 2017.

f. Relief and Recovery

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) facilitates a cluster system of humanitarian response, including a Protection Cluster which conducts assessments and coordinates action on human rights, displacement, and the protection of civilians. The Protection Cluster is co-lead by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Area of Responsibility (AoR) is a subcomponent of the protection cluster, led by the United Nations Agency for Children (UNICEF) with the participation of UN Women. 

According to UNHCR, there are nearly 4.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) inside the DRC, and 750,000 refugees from the DRC outside the country. Additionally, Congo hosts 535,805 refugees from Rwanda, Central African Republic and South Sudan (UNHCR Fact Sheet DRC April 2020). 

​​​​​​​[i] UNSC Report on Children and Armed Conflict in the DRC, S/208/502, 25 May 2018

[ii]UN Office of the Special Representative for Sexual Violence in Conflict, Report on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), 2019

[iii] UN Office of Conduct and Discipline, 2019

Other Social sources:


These products are the results of academic research and intended for general information and awareness only. They include the best information publicly available at the time of publication. Routine efforts are made to update the materials; however, readers are encouraged to check the specific mission sites at or

Country Profile of Congo (DRC) – Information

Last update on: 3 June 2021

from Congo (DRC) profile by BBC

Radio is the main source of information in the DRC, although many parts of the country are out of range and rely on Short Wave broadcasts on non-local stations (such as BBS World Service). There are two state-owned radio stations and about 100 privately owned stations. The fixed-line telephone system is severely lacking – less than 1 per 100 inhabitants has a subscription for a fixed-line, ranking the DRC as 217th in the World. However, 37.1 million people have cell phones, ranking it as 34th in the world in regards to cell phone usage. Internet use is very sparse. There are a total of 290,000 people (less than 1% of the population) who use the Internet, ranking it 143rd in the world. Because of sporadic electricity, technology has been unable to significantly improve as of yet. The GoDRC has a history of restricting access to information. However, one of MONUSCO’s enduring contributions to expanding political dialogue in the DRC has been the establishment of the Radio Okapi which is extremely popular and presents a wide range of views on current topics.



  • Radio-Television Nationale Congolaise (RTNC) – state-run terrestrial and satellite TV with near-national coverage
  • RTGA – private
  • Digital Congo – private
  • Raga TV – private


  • Radio-Television Nationale Congolaise (RTNC) – state-run, in French, Swahili, Lingala, Tshiluba and Kikongo
  • Radio Okapi – influential UN-backed network
  • Digital Congo FM – private
  • Top Congo FM – private
  • RTGA – private

News agencies/internet

Other Information sources:

These products are the results of academic research and intended for general information and awareness only. They include the best information publicly available at the time of publication. Routine efforts are made to update the materials; however, readers are encouraged to check the specific mission sites at or

Congo (DRC) Country Profile – Geography

Last update on: 3 June 2021

From Cia Factbook (Page last updated on October 06, 2020)

Location: Central Africa, northeast of Angola


  • total: 2,344,858 sq km
  • land: 2,267,048 sq km
  • water: 77,810 sq km

Land boundaries:

  • total: 10,481 km
  • border countries (9): Angola 2646 km (of which 225 km is the boundary of Angola’s discontiguous Cabinda Province), Burundi 236 km, Central African Republic 1747 km, Republic of the Congo 1229 km, Rwanda 221 km, South Sudan 714 km, Tanzania 479 km, Uganda 877 km, Zambia 2332 km.

Coastline: 37 km

  • territorial sea: 12 nm
  • exclusive economic zone: since 2011 the DRC has a Common Interest Zone agreement with Angola for the mutual development of off-shore resources

Climate: tropical; hot and humid in equatorial river basin; cooler and drier in southern highlands; cooler and wetter in eastern highlands; north of Equator – wet season (April to October), dry season (December to February); south of Equator – wet season (November to March), dry season (April to October)

Terrain: vast central basin is a low-lying plateau; mountains in east


  • mean elevation: 726 m
  • lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
  • highest point: Pic Marguerite on Mont Ngaliema (Mount Stanley) 5,110 m

Natural resources: cobalt, copper, niobium, tantalum, petroleum, industrial and gem diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin, uranium, coal, hydropower, timber.

Land use:

  • agricultural land: 11.4% (2011 est.) – arable land: 3.1% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0.3% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 8% (2011 est.)
  • forest: 67.9% (2011 est.)
  • other: 20.7% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land: 110 sq km (2012)

Population distribution: urban clusters are spread throughout the country, particularly in the northeast along the boarder with Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi; the largest city is the capital, Kinshasha, located in the west along the Congo River; the south is least densely populated.

Natural hazards: periodic droughts in the south; Congo River floods (seasonal); active volcanoes in the east along the Great Rift Valley

volcanism: Nyiragongo (3,470 m), which erupted in 2002 and is experiencing ongoing activity, poses a major threat to the city of Goma, home to a quarter million people; the volcano produces unusually fast-moving lava, known to travel up to 100 km /hr; Nyiragongo has been deemed a Decade Volcano by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; its neighbor, Nyamuragira, which erupted in 2010, is Africa’s most active volcano; Visoke is the only other historically active volcano

Environment – current issues: poaching threatens wildlife populations; water pollution; deforestation (forests endangered by fires set to clean the land for agricultural purposes; forests also used as a source of fuel); soil erosion; mining (diamonds, gold, coltan – a mineral used in creating capacitors for electronic devices) causing environmental damage

These products are the results of academic research and intended for general information and awareness only. They include the best information publicly available at the time of publication. Routine efforts are made to update the materials; however, readers are encouraged to check the specific mission sites at or

MONUSCO – Mission’s Political Activities

Last update on: 13 September 2020

From MONUSCO website

  • Supporting democratisation and institutional reforms to craft a new state 

In close cooperation with national and international partners, PAD monitors and supports democratisation in the DRC. This entails practical support to national and provincial institutions, as well as civil society organisations, to create conditions conducive to the establishment of democracy and the rule of law. This also includes technical support to lawmaking and good governance. In Western DRC, PAD actively contributes to the MONUC multi-disciplinary peace-building teams working in tandem with the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) and local partners. In this regard, we maintain regular contacts with Congolese and international stakeholders, and provide conceptual support to senior management and other substantive components of the Mission through our inputs to analytical reports, policy papers, briefing notes, talking points, internal communications to United Nations Headquarters in New York, etc.  

  •  Preventing and resolving conflicts to pacify and reconcile communities 

PAD contributes to MONUC’s strategy on conflict prevention and resolution, focusing primarily on developments in Eastern DRC (North and South Kivu, Haut-Uélé, Ituri. etc). We do also remain abreast of developments in other potentially volatile locations in Western DRC. In Eastern DRC, PAD is an active contributor to the MONUC multi-disciplinary Joint Protection Teams (JPT) working in tandem with the Mission’s military component and other international and local partners. We conduct risk assessments, monitor developments on national and foreign armed groups as well as related aspects such as military and political integration, security sector reform (SSR), etc. We prepare reviews of the mining and energy sectors, informative documents on existing conflicts and profiles of various national stakeholders and parties in conflict, to propose timely corrective measures and resolve conflicts on issues such as land tenure, digging rights in mining areas and ownership of cattle. We offer counselling, advising, mediation and lobbying services to various actors. As the situation warrants, we draft special reports, background notes, etc. and provide accurate and timely strategic information to managers at the United Nations HQ in New York.

  • Building great relations in the Great Lakes

PAD contributes to the improvement of bilateral relations between the DRC and its Great Lake neighbours, notably Rwanda and Uganda. We closely monitor developments in Central and Southern Africa to the extent that they do have implications on the DRC. We work with the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General, the team of the SESG for the Great Lakes Region and the SESG for LRA affected areas to provide expertise in good offices, practical support and advice to Congolese civilian and military authorities in their efforts to rebuild confidence with Rwanda and Uganda, and to coordinate joint military operations against foreign armed groups. Other issues requiring political counsel include movements of refugees, IDPs and DDRRR, which have shown a wide range of political implications and the need for regional and international cooperation.

From IPI Global Observatory:

These products are the results of academic research and intended for general information and awareness only. They include the best information publicly available at the time of publication. Routine efforts are made to update the materials; however, readers are encouraged to check the specific mission sites at or

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in DR Congo – MONUSCO

Last update on: 3 June 2021

UN Photo/Sylvain Liechti – MONUSCO peacekeepers on patrol.

Executive Summary

from official MONUSCO​​​​​​​, UN PressUN Digital Library and Crisis Group

MONUSCO is focused on strengthening governance, protecting civilians, and reducing instability in the eastern territory, as evidenced by continued support for the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) which was established in 2013 to conduct offensive operations. The U.S. priority for MONUSCO has been ensuring performance and accountability, as well as reducing funding for the mission because of its links to government forces that have committed gross human rights violations, including unlawful killings and sexual violence.[1]

With the renewal of the mission’s mandate (Resolution 2556/2020), UN decides to extend until 20 December 2021 the MONUSCO in the DRC, including, on an exceptional basis and without creating a precedent or any prejudice to the agreed principles of peacekeeping, its Intervention Brigade.


Source: UNITED NATIONS – Office of Information and Communications Technology Geospatial Information Section



These products are the results of academic research and intended for general information and awareness only. They include the best information publicly available at the time of publication. Routine efforts are made to update the materials; however, readers are encouraged to check the specific mission sites at or

Congo (DRC) Country Profile – Infrastructure

Last update on: 13 September 2020

From Cia Factbook (Page last updated on October 06, 2020)

Electricity access:

  • population without electricity: 69 million (2017)
  • electrification – total population: 17.1% (2016)
  • electrification – urban areas: 47.2% (2016)
  • electrification – rural areas: 0.4% (2016)

Electricity – production: 9.046 billion kWh (2016 est.)

Electricity – consumption: 7.43 billion kWh (2016 est.)

Crude oil – proved reserves: 180 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)

Natural gas – proved reserves: 991.1 million cu m (1 January 2018 est.)

Airports: 198 (2013)

Airports – with paved runways:

  • total: 26 (2017)
  • over 3,047 m: 3 (2017)
  • 2,438 to 3,047 m: 3 (2017)
  • 1,524 to 2,437 m: 17 (2017)
  • 914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2017)
  • under 914 m: 1 (2017)

Airports – with unpaved runways:

  • total: 172 (2013)
  • 1,524 to 2,437 m: 20 (2013)
  • 914 to 1,523 m: 87 (2013)
  • under 914 m: 65 (2013)

Heliports: 1 (2013)

Pipelines: 62 km gas, 77 km oil, 756 km refined products (2013)


total: 4,007 km (2014)

narrow gauge: 3,882 km 1.067-m gauge (858 km electrified) (2014) / 125 1.000-m gauge


  • total: 152,373 km (2015)
  • paved: 3,047 km (2015)
  • unpaved: 149,326 km (2015)
  • urban: 7,400 km (2015)
  • non-urban: 144,973 km

Waterways: 15,000 km (including the Congo River, its tributaries, and unconnected lakes) (2011)

Ports and terminals:

  • major seaport(s): Banana
  • river or lake port(s): Boma, Bumba, Kinshasa, Kisangani, Matadi, Mbandaka (Congo), Kindu (Lualaba) Bukavu, Goma (Lake Kivu) Kalemie (Lake Tanganyika)

Other sources about Congo (DRC) Infrastructure:

These products are the results of academic research and intended for general information and awareness only. They include the best information publicly available at the time of publication. Routine efforts are made to update the materials; however, readers are encouraged to check the specific mission sites at or

Mali and MINUSMA – Recent Situation Updates

Last update on: 24 November 2020

MINUSMA/Harandane Dicko – UN peacekeepers return to their helicopter following a mission to the village of Sobane Da in the Mopti region of Mali.

Updates from Mali by IPI, and Global Conflict Tracker:

Assessing the Effectiveness of the United Nations Mission in MALI – MINUSMA, by EPON (Effectiveness of Peace Operations Network) – Report

Upadte from UN Secretary-Gereral’s Report on Mali dated June 2, 2020.

Major developments during April and May, 2020

  1. Legislative elections; Para 2.  Building on the momentum generated by the inclusive national dialogue, legislative elections were held on 29 March and 19 April in a peaceful context despite insecurity and fear related to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Voter turnout was reported at 36 percent for the first round and 35 percent for the second round. Some 5,000 national observers were deployed throughout the country. A number of incidents were recorded, including the kidnapping of candidates, local and traditional leaders and electoral officials, the destruction of electoral materials and interference by armed groups. Opposition leader and President of the Union pour la république et la démocratie party, Soumaïla Cissé, was abducted by alleged violent extremists on 25 March while campaigning in his stronghold of Niafunké, in Timbuktu Region. Efforts to liberate Mr. Cissé, coordinated by the Government, continue.
  2. Implementation of the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali; Para 4.  Notwithstanding progress with the elections, the international mediation team noted continuing disagreements between the signatory parties, which impeded the swift implementation of certain key elements of the Agreement on Peace and Reconciliation in Mali, particularly the redeployment of residual elements of the reconstituted army to Kidal.
  3. Stabilization and restoration of State authority in the center; Para 10. Government efforts in support of dialogue and reconciliation initiatives continued, but at a slower pace, within the framework of the Cadre Politique de Gestion de la Crise au Center du Mali. Owing to its focus on the elections and restrictions in the context of COVID-19, the Government suspended some field activities in late March, including in Bankass and Douentza circles in Mopti Region.
  4. Regional developments; Para 14.  Prevailing terrorist threats compounded by the pandemic remained the main concern of countries in the Sahel region, with terrorist groups continuing to capitalize on the lack of state presence in many areas. Burkina Faso, Mali, and the Niger intensified counter-terrorism operations in the tri-border area, in coordination with French forces. As a result, six hostages held by Islamic State in the Greater Sahara were freed in Gargassa and Fererio, Burkina Faso, and several members of the group were killed.
  5. Security developments; Para 17.  Terrorist groups affiliated with Al-Qaida and Islamic State continued to attack security forces and civilians in northern and central Mali, while further clashes between those groups were reported. Civilians continued to be the victims of violence committed by terrorist groups and the targets of attacks across community lines in central Mali. During the reporting period, a total of 169 civilians were killed and 79 were injured in 190 incidents, representing a decrease from the previous reporting period. Mopti Region accounted for more than 51 percent of the incidents.

Other sources:
Crisis in the Sahel Becoming France’s Forever War – The New York Times

These products are the results of academic research and intended for general information and awareness only. They include the best information publicly available at the time of publication. Routine efforts are made to update the materials; however, readers are encouraged to check the specific mission sites at or

Mali – Current Political and Security Dynamics

MINUSMA/Harandane Dicko – UN peacekeepers return to their helicopter following a mission to the village of Sobane Da in the Mopti region of Mali.

from June 2020 CrisisWatch

Jihadist and intercommunal violence continued unabated in the centre, and infighting between competing jihadist groups persisted in north and center. In Mopti region in the centre, Bambara Dozo hunters 5 May stormed Fulani village of Djongué Ouro, Djenne circle, killing at least twelve; attack reportedly in retaliation of 3 May raid on the neighbouring village of Djongué Bambara by suspected jihadists which reportedly killed four. Security forces and Dogon militia Dan Na Ambassagou 13 May reportedly killed six jihadist militants in Dioungani area, Koro circle; three militiamen also killed. Security forces 15 May said they killed around 30 suspected jihadists in the previous day raid near the border with Burkina Faso. Unidentified assailants 23-27 May reportedly killed at least 28 civilians in several attacks on ethnic Dogon villages in Bankass, Bandiagara, and Koro circles. Security forces continued to face allegations of extrajudicial killings. Notably, the army 10 May reportedly killed six Fulani civilians in Dinangourou, Koro circle. Infighting between jihadist groups continued in north and center throughout the month, with jihadist Group to Support Islam and Muslims (JNIM) reportedly driving out Islamic State (ISIS)-affiliated combatants from most of northern Gao region, and JNIM-affiliated Katiba Macina reportedly inflicting heavy losses on ISIS factions in inner Niger Delta area of Mopti region. After Constitutional Court late April annulled 5.2% of total votes in the second round of legislative elections held 19 April, resulting in the ruling party winning ten additional seats in National Assembly, protests broke out early May in several cities, including capital Bamako, Sikasso and Kati, leaving several injured. National Assembly 11 May elected the ruling party MP Moussa Timbiné as president. After protests against COVID-19 curfew erupted in several cities early May, including Kayes, Bamako, and Bandiagara, govt 9 May lifted curfew throughout the country.

Other source for Mali – Current Political and Security Dynamics:

The Challenges of Governance, Development and Security in the Central Regions of Mali on

These products are the results of academic research and intended for general information and awareness only. They include the best information publicly available at the time of publication. Routine efforts are made to update the materials; however, readers are encouraged to check the specific mission sites at or