Goma, 31 December 2011 – A local youth association known as Umoja Cargo, awarded the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) a prize of excellence for its peace efforts in the Nord-Kivu territory of Rutshuru. The prize, which was symbolically represented as a diploma, was awarded in the presence of some 50 guests at a ceremony organized for the occasion on Friday, 30 December.
Sinz Wolf, the leader of the association, said the prize was an expression of gratitude from his peers towards MONUSCO for its actions in support of peace, as well as its contributions to the work of local associations in the promotion of human rights.
Rutshuru is one of the six territories of Nord-Kivu province where security threats remain high. Local and foreign armed militias regularly attack villages, while looting and raping; they attack villagers in their homes and farmers on their farms; they operate by day and under night cover on roads where they ambush people. This is one of the situations that MONUSCO has been up against in the last few years. Security efforts by MONUSCO peacekeepers have involved conducting day and night patrols, as well as providing escorts to villagers on their way to and from the marketplace and farms.
Mr. Wolf told his audience that these measures have been significant in the improvement of the security situation in Rutshuru. “MONUSCO’s peacekeeping efforts have been eloquent in Rutshuru where the protection of civilians remains a serious challenge,” Mr. Wolf said during the prize giving ceremony.
Along with MONUSCO, several local authorities were also recognized for their contributions to the restoration of security in this part of Nord-Kivu, including the provincial Minister for Mines, Energy, Information and Press, Mr. Naasan Kubuya; the human rights activist and lawyer, Olivier Ndoole; the director of Radio Kivu I, Mr. Magloire Paluku; and the president of the Provincial Youth Council, Mr. Guy Ndoole Kibira.