MONUSCO peacekeepers stand near a helipad in Kanyabayonga, Democratic Republic of the Congo. (MONUSCO/Sylvain Liechti)

In March, the United Nations Security Council called for a “strategic review” of the UN Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). Part of this review is to include a well-articulated possible exit strategy for the mission. What remains to be seen is whether the Security Council will decide that the strategy is sound and should be implemented, or that MONUSCO should remain functioning with some changes. Taking into consideration the spirit of the March resolution and an evaluation of the state of MONUSCO makes clear the need for a controlled and sound plan for the mission’s exit from the DRC.

On the one hand, the necessity to deeply reevaluate the effectiveness of MONUSCO and reshape its mandate to new challenges and dynamics is years overdue. On the other hand, the timing is opportune given the changes in the national political landscape after the first peaceful transfer of power between former President Joseph Kabila and Félix Tshisekedi, whose policies aim to improve political stability and national security. Prospects aside, the hope for long-term stability and peace are still fragile and uncertain. What this season in the DRC’s politics offers for both the Security Council and the Congolese people is the opportunity to recalibrate their strategies and efforts for peace and stability within an inclusive and acceptable operational framework. Read more