UN Renews Smaller DR Congo Peacekeeping Force

The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously yesterday to renew the mandate of the peacekeeping force in DR Congo, but cut its numbers.

The council paid tribute to two kidnapped UN researchers whose bodies were found this week, and voted to approve the MONUSCO mission for another year.

The resolution reduces the authorised size of the military component of the mission from 19,815 to 16,215 troops, but the force is already under-strength and in practice fewer than 500 will come home.

The US, which assumes presidency of the Security Council this month, has called for a deep review of the strategy behind all the UN peacekeeping missions.

And Washington, which currently funds more than 28 per cent of the peacekeeping budget, is seeking to cut costs and improve the efficiency of the missions.

The restive central African state is preparing for elections later this year.

News Agencies