Top United Nations (UN) peacekeeping official Jean-Pierre Lacroix is presently in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for a series of meetings related to the year-end closure of the world body’s mission there – MONUSCO.
The mission’s 14 year lifespan ends in December at the request of DRC President Felix Tshisekedi, one of the people on Lacroix’s diary for his week-long stay in the central African country. The two are set to discuss continuing collaboration in the context of MONUSCO’s first area of disengagement – South Kivu.
The senior UN peacekeeper’s visit includes Goma and Beni (North Kivu) and South Kivu’s Bukava in addition to Kinshasa. He will be joined in Bukava by Catherine Pollard, Under-Secretary General for Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance, and Christian Saunders, Special Co-ordinator for Improving UN Response to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA). They will review ongoing MONUSCO efforts, including response to misconduct by UN peacekeeping personnel.
In addition to discussions with provincial authorities, civil society, community leaders and UN staff, the delegation will visit a peacekeeping base in South Kivu due to be transferred to Congolese authorities soon as part of the first phase of MONUSCO’s accelerated withdrawal.
In Kinshasa, Lacroix will meet with national authorities, including the Head of State, to discuss challenges and opportunities and how the UN can continue to support peace efforts in DRC.