A senior United Nations envoy to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) said today that he expected the Security Council to extend for one year the mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission in the country, known as MONUC.
"The Council of course is very supportive of the actions of the United Nations, especially MONUC, in the DRC, and I think it will adopt a draft resolution which is being circulated to extend the mandate of MONUC for the next one year," Amos Ngongi, the Secretary-General's Special Representative to the country, told reporters after briefing the Council behind closed doors.
Council members were still consulting on other aspects of the mission's mandate, according to Mr. Ngongi. "There were discussions on the protection aspect of MONUC's work, and clearly it is understood that MONUC does not have the capacity to be able to ensure full protection of the civilian population in the DRC - that's not possible," he said. "But clearly MONUC has the responsibility and the mandate to be able to protect those whose lives are in imminent danger, especially in the areas in which MONUC is fully deployed, like Kisangani."
"We can take dissuasive action, rather than proactive protection; we don't have the troops or the appropriate equipment for that," he said, adding, "but that's no excuse for not coming to the rescue of people whose lives are imminently in danger."