The Security Council on Tuesday extended for one year the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), making it a priority for the operation to protect civilians and provide support for implementation of a 31 December 2016 agreement on holding elections.
Adopting a unanimous resolution, the 15-member body authorized the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) to maintain the troop ceiling of 16,215 military personnel, 660 military observers and staff officers, 391 police personnel, and 1,050 personnel of formed police units, until 31 March 2019.
Also in the 63-paragraph text, the Council reiterated its appeal to all Congolese actors to work for the preservation of the still fragile gains in the path of peace and stability in the African country, and urged the Government to hold accountable those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law or violations and abuses of human rights, in particular those that may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The Secretary-General is requested to prioritize and align budgetary resources based on critical tasks set out in the mandate.
The troop levels were retained, including more than 16,000 military personnel and nearly 400 police, but the Council requested the Secretary-General to undertake contingency planning within 90 days, looking at all options, including through inter-mission cooperation.