The UN Security Council has voted for the gradual withdrawal of the UN peacekeeping force from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The council has extended the mandate of Monusco for a year, while agreeing to the force’s withdrawal in three phases.
The force had been deployed in 2010 to restore security in eastern DR Congo, where several armed groups are engaged in conflict and have killed and displaced about seven million civilians.
“The drawdown will start by the end of 2023 amid the election cycle. The force will be withdrawn from South Kivu by the end of April 2024 and the mandate’s implementation will be limited to provinces from May 2024,” the UN Security Council said in a statement on Tuesday.
It added that it plans to significantly scale down the size of its force from 1 July next year.
DR Congo had earlier asked the council to withdraw the force by the end of the year, citing its ineffectiveness at quelling violence and protecting civilians even after two decades in the country.