The head of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has visited the eastern city of Bukavu, the capital of South Kivu province, to assess preparations for the forthcoming general elections in the vast African country.
During the two-day visit, which ended yesterday, Roger Meece, the Special Representative of the Secretary–General and head of the UN Stabilisation Mission in the DRC Congo (MONUSCO), reassured local officials that the mission will continue to support preparations for the presidential and legislative elections scheduled for 28 November.
The provincial executive secretary of the National Electoral Commission (CENI), Eugène Birhenjira, indicated to Mr. Meece that the delivery of electoral material was progressing well with MONUSCO’s logistical support.
The provincial police commander, General Gaston Luzembo, gave the assurance that his force, which has been trained on providing security during the elections, is ready to ensure smooth conduct of the polls at every stage. About 4,000 police officers will be deployed, he said.
As for areas where illegal armed groups are still active, DRC military commanders said the deployment of newly trained units of the Congolese national armed forces (FARDC) will be on the ground to deter any attempts by the illegal militias to disrupt the elections.