DR Congo

Annan says adding UN staff for DR of Congo's elections will cost nearly $190 million

As the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) ends its political transition after years of civil war and prepares for general elections, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan estimates that adding to the peacekeeping mission for the yearlong run-up to the elections will cost nearly $190 million.

Breaking down the $188.8 million tab, he says, the estimate provides for the phased deployment of an additional 2,590 military contingent personnel, 216 civilian police personnel and five formed police units (625 formed police personnel), bringing the Mission's military, civilian police and formed police strength to 19,290 military personnel, 391 civilian police officers and 750 formed police personnel.

The estimate also provides for the phased deployment of additional 170 international and 470 national staff and 154 United Nations Volunteers (UNV), he adds in a special report to the 15-member Security Council.

The 2005/2006 cost of maintaining the core 17,000-strong UN Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC) is $1.3 billion, including the $383.2 million that the General Assembly already approved for 1 July to 31 October, he says.

If the Security Council approves the expenditures, the 191-member General Assembly will be asked to supply the additional funding, he says.

Meanwhile, MONUC said its staff in Mbuji-Mbayi had initiated a resumption of the dialogue between the authorities in Kasaï Oriental Province and the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), one of the country's opposition parties.

"After two hours of a courteous discussion, the participants separated, having made two pledges: one that they would see one another again and the other that the dialogue started that day under MONUC's auspices not be interrupted," it said.