Security Council experts in Kinshasa to assess UN’s work

A delegation of UN Security Council experts has been sent to Kinshasa to assess the Council’s resolutions on DR Congo where a new opposition president has taken office, a UN spokeswoman said Thursday.

Experts from seven of the Council’s 15 member states “began their evaluation work on Monday”, said Florence Marchal, spokeswoman for the UN’s MONUSCO peacekeeping mission in this vast central African county.

She said it was a mission to evaluate the Security Council’s resolutions led by France which, as a permanent member, has “penholder” responsibilities vis-a-vis DR Congo’s file, she said.

As well as France, the delegation included experts from Belgium, Germany, Poland, South Africa, Britain and the United States.

MONUSCO head Leila Zerrougui met on Tuesday with President Felix Tshisekedi, who was sworn into office last week after a long and bitterly-fought election campaign.

The UN peacekeeping force has been present in sub-Sarahan Africa’s largest nation since 1999 with its mandate up for renewal again at the end of March.

The United Nations has some 17,000 soldiers, police and military observers deployed in DR Congo, its biggest and costliest peacekeeping mission, with an annual budget of more than $1 billion.