MONUSCO – Mandate
Last update on: 13 September 2020
Information on the MONUSCO Mandate can be found at https://monusco.unmissions.org/en/mandate.
Current mandate – UNSecurity Council Resolution 2502 (2019).
Previous mission mandates emphasized support for national elections. Since the 2018 elections are over, the March 2019 mandate prioritized support for stabilization and strengthening state institutions, as well as governance and security reforms. However, “the protection of civilians remains the first priority task of the mission” (Pass Blue 29 March 2019).[i]
During the mandate renewal process, some nations wanted to renew MONUSCO’s mandate for a 12-month period (South Africa), yet other nations wanted to review the mandate after 6-months to see how the new government fares (France). The representative of the DRC stated that the short-term mandate would not offer sufficient time for the evaluation of the mission’s strategic review and eventual exit strategy (Pass Blue).
The DRC government also requested that the UN-designated the Ugandan Islamist Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) a terrorist group. In November 2018, MONUSCO and Congolese forces (FARDC) planned joint offensive operations against the ADF in Beni state. The updated mandate preserved the Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) which allows the mission to conduct offensive operations and continued to emphasize the U.S. priority of troop performance.
MONUSCO’s strategic priorities are to protect civilians and support the stabilization and strengthening of State institutions, as well as governance and security reforms (UN Press 29 March 2019).[ii] In addition, the Council reaffirmed support for the development of a comprehensive and integrated performance policy framework that identifies clear standards for evaluating all United Nations civilian and uniformed personnel working in and supporting peacekeeping operations (UN Press).
UNSCR 2424 on 29 June 2018 renewed the DRC sanctions and the mandate of the Group of Experts. The DRC sanctions are essentially an arms embargo, travel ban, and assets freeze. Thirty-five individuals and nine entities are named in the current version, which was updated with four new names on February 1, 2018. While the sanctions will expire in July 2019, they are expected to be renewed for another year.
Although the mission has been largely credited with preventing a return to large-scale violence and supporting the transition to democratic governance, it has struggled to enact Security Sector Reform (SSR) within the FARDC and Congolese National Police (PNC). This is largely due to the fact that the security forces serve the interests of political elites who want to use the force for select purposes. One report emphasizes that the state has sought to “maintain patronage networks over the security of its citizens, and elite survival over institutional reform” (Norwegian Institute International Affairs).[iii]
[i] UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) Mandate Renewal, Pass Blue, 29 March 2019 https://www.whatsinblue.org/2019/03/un-organization-stabilization-mission-in-the-drc-monusco-mandate-renewal-2.php
[ii] Security Council, Adopting Resolution 2463 (2019), Calls for Strategic Review of Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Extends Mandate, SC/13759 29 March 2019, https://www.un.org/press/en/2019/sc13759.doc.htm
[iii] Dr. Novosseloff, Alexandra. Assessing the Effectiveness of the UN Mission to the DRC – MONUC/MONUSCO, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), Oslo 2019 https://reliefweb.int/report/democratic-republic-congo/assessing-effectiveness-united-nations-mission-drc-monuc-monusco
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 https://monusco.unmissions.org/en or https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/mission/monusco.
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