South African special forces commander appointed to lead UN troops in DR Congo

Lieutenant General Derrick Mbuyiselo Mgwebi of South Africa. UN Photo/Mario Rizzolio (file)

29 December 2015 – A former South African special forces commander with previous United Nations peacekeeping experience has been appointed to lead the troops serving with the world body’s mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), it was announced today.

Lieutenant General Derick Mbuyiselo Mgwebi, who has over 35 years of national and international military experience and served as Force Commander of the UN Operation in Burundi (ONUB) from 2007 to 2011, succeeds Lieutenant General Carlos Alberto dos Santos Cruz of Brazil as Force Commander of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO).

The Mission, with nearly 20,000 uniformed personnel on the ground, is mandated to use all necessary means to protect civilians, humanitarian personnel and human rights defenders under imminent threat of physical violence and to support the Government in its stabilization and peace consolidation efforts.

The vast country has suffered from factional fighting for decades, although the conflict is now mainly limited to the east.

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