14 in Favour, 1 Abstention, as Members Also Extend Force Intervention Brigade
The Security Council decided today to extend the mandate of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), alongside its Force Intervention Brigade, until 20 December 2021, with the voting results announced by videoconference, in accordance with the temporary silence procedure adopted for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Adopting resolution 2556 (2020) by a recorded vote of 14 in favour to none against, with 1 abstention (Russian Federation), under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, the Council also decided that MONUSCO’s troop ceiling will remain at 14,000 troops, 660 military observers and staff officers, 591 police and 1,050 formed police units. It further authorized the temporary deployment of up to 360 formed police units provided they are replacing military personnel.
Reiterating the importance of delivering on the Congolese Government’s commitments to pursue national unity, strengthen the rule of law and ensure respect for human rights, the Council decided that protecting civilians will remain MONUSCO’s top strategic priority. To that end, it decided that the Mission will take all necessary measures to ensure effective, timely, dynamic and integrated protection of civilians under threat of physical violence in provinces where it is currently deployed, with a specific focus on eastern provinces.
Further by the text, the Council decided that MONUSCO must prioritize support for stabilizing and strengthening State institutions in order to ensure they are functional, professional and accountable.
The Council endorsed the Joint Strategy on the Progressive and Phased Drawdown of MONUSCO, as well as its planned withdrawal from the Kasaï provinces, in 2021 and progressively from Tanganyika in 2022, requesting that the Secretary-General proceed with the gradual transfer of the Mission’s programmatic activities to relevant partners. To that end, it recalled the independent strategic review’s assessment that an absolute minimum transition period of three years is required for MONUSCO’s exit, which would involve implementation of the Government’s announced reforms to address structural drivers of conflict.
[Security Council resolutions are currently adopted through a written procedure vote under temporary, extraordinary and provisional measures implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as set out in a letter (document S/2020/253) by its President for March (China).]