Bintou Keita, special representative of the UN Secretary-General in the DRC and head of the UN’s peacekeeping mission MONUSCO, highlighted the ongoing attacks and humanitarian crises in key provinces to the Security Council.
Keita told the council that attacks on local populations, roadblocks, and denial of humanitarian access continue to fuel suffering in Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu provinces.
"As I speak today, over 6 million people remain displaced in these places," she stated, urging continued support for underfunded relief operations.
Addressing the anticipated but yet-to-be-finalized exit of UN peacekeepers from the DRC, Keita urged the council to provide clear feedback on the August report’s recommendations from the secretary-general concerning the future of the MONUSCO mission she oversees.
At the UN General Assembly last week, the DRC’s president urged the UN mission to expedite its withdrawal and move the deadline up a year from December 2024 to December 2023.
Another deeply concerning aspect of the crisis is the prevalence of gender-based violence. Keita said over 10,000 survivors sought assistance from the UN peacekeeping mission, MONUSCO, in the three provinces in June and July.
Due to the heightened risk of sexual violence in displacement areas, the UN mission has intensified its patrols, collaborating with the Congolese armed forces.
Continued humanitarian and security measures are still essential, she said.
"I am hopeful that the trials currently underway will provide justice to the bereaved families of the victims, including one police officer, and shed light on the circumstances surrounding this tragic event," she concluded