The United Nations Security Council has authorized Secretary-General Kofi Annan to provide $103 million to the peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for logistic support as voters register for the upcoming election in the vast country.
“MONUC will receive $103 million to continue providing support to the DRC electoral process," Rachel Eklou-Assogbavi, the Deputy Spokesperson of the UN Mission in DRC (MONUC), told the weekly news conference in Kinshasa yesterday. "The bulk of MONUC's activities are now geared to backing the DRC voter identification and registration operations.”
Mr. Annan said earlier this week that he would begin sending in resources right away to help meet deadlines in the biggest and most expensive electoral process the world body has ever helped organize, even before the Security Council had formally approved his recommendations.
Given the vast size of the country and the lack of infrastructure in large areas of it, the country’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) had asked MONUC to assist with transporting electoral materials to voter registration centres and future polling sites throughout the country.
Meanwhile, MONUC Military Spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thierry Provendier told the news conference that to make sure rebel militia knew that MONUC still had the capability to restore law and order, the mission staged several military operations in Kivu this week.
"Night Flash (was) to ensure a night presence in the surroundings of Kanyola. The operation dubbed Safe Path was aimed at ensuring free movement along the Chivanga-Bitare axis and all the way through the Kahuzi Biega Park,” he said.
“Meanwhile, Operation Falcon Sweep is still in place, even though it is being conducted at a slower pace than in July. Special elements of the Guatemalan troops are conducting several reconnaissance missions and securing the zone on a permanent basis."
The operations launched last Wednesday in the district of Linga in Ituri, involving 700 peacekeepers of the Nepalese, Senegalese and South African contingents and including a company of the Armed Forces of DRC (FARDC) were over, he said.