Departure of the first batch of MONUC soldiers

16 Jun 2010

Departure of the first batch of MONUC soldiers

Kisangani, 16 June 2010 - The Special Representative of the Secretary General of the UN, Alan Doss paid a visit to Kisangani with the MONUC Force Commander General Babacar Gaye on June 16, 2010 to bid farewell to the first MONUC Senegalese Blue Helmets' contingent, the first to leave, out of the up to two thousand troops, to be reduced in light of the new mandate under the Security Council Resolution No.1925.

Addressing the stout blue helmets, the SRSG Alan Doss said that the ceremony was a historic one in the evolution of the United Nations Mission's current mandate in the D.R.Congo under the Security Council's resolution 1925. He congratulated various Senegalese military and police contingents on behalf of the Secretary General for their meritorious services including those who lost their lives in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

While highlighting the important role played by the Senegalese Blue Helmets, he appreciated the Senegalese authorities for sending the best soldiers to the Mission. This spoke of the commitment of the Senegalese government to the cause of peace in Africa and round the globe.

While elaborating on performance, he said that in evolution of MONUC mandates, Senegalese Blue Helmets performed their services at locations like, Oriental Province, Mbandaka, Kananga, Ilebo, Kindu, North Kivu, Isiro, Lubutu, Dinguila and Wamaza in Maniema with equal dedication, enthusiasm and commitment whether it dealt with securing local population or the UN staff and assets or a DDRRR camp since their first deployment at Kananga in April 2001.

He further appreciated the professionalism, courage and commitment of Senegalese Blue Helmets in countering militia threats wherever they arose. He also appreciated them for working in close collaboration with the FARDC (Congolese army) in areas of operation under the U.N. mandate.

SRSG Alan Doss added that MONUC (U.N. Mission in D.R.Congo) will convert to MONUSCO (U.N. Stabilization Misson in D.R.Congo) with effect from July 01, 2010. He reiterated MONUC's commitment to the protection of civilian population and pointed out that any reduction in future would be done in consultation with Congolese government based on the prevalent security conditions in the sensitive territories.

The SRSG wished the outgoing contingent God's protection and guidance in continuing their efforts for establishment of peace in the world. He also lauded the role of provincial and national authorities for providing active partnership to the Security Council in the enactment of resolution 1925 which will guide stabilization and consolidation of peace in DRC.

It may be recalled that the Security Council Resolution 1925 envisages a reduction of up to Two thousand blue helmets by the end of June 2010 from an existing strength of 19,815.