In its resolution 2348 (2017), the Security Council requested the SecretaryGeneral to conduct a strategic review of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), examining the continued relevance of all mandated tasks, priorities and related resources, as well as the necessity of adapting the Mission’s mandate to the specific needs of the post-elections phase, with a view to: (a) providing the Council with options, no later than 30 September 2017, for a reduction of the Mission’s force and civilian components in order to maximize the efficient use of the Mission’s resources, to be delivered after the successful implementation of the 31 December 2016 agreement, and sustainable progress in reducing the threat of armed groups, taking into account the Mission’s and the United Nations country team’s comparative advantages and capacities and other relevant factors, with a view to transferring relevant activities to the country team and other relevant partners, as appropriate; and (b) in the light of the reaction of the Council to those options and following the successful implementation of the 31 December agreement, providing advice to the Council on an exit strategy in advance of the next mandate renewal.
The strategic review of MONUSCO builds on continuing efforts to streamline the work of the Mission and achieve efficiency gains, while taking into consideration political and security developments, available resources and the need to mitigate the impact of the adjustments on the civilian population. The present report is the result of extensive consultations with a wide range of Congolese stakeholders over a period of four months. In the present report, recommendations are provided on the strategic priorities of MONUSCO and corresponding adjustments to the Mission’s posture and configuration during the current, pre-electoral phase, as well as options for a broader reconfiguration of the Mission during the post-election period, subject to the evolution of the political and security situation. Preliminary elements of a potential exit strategy are also identified.
The strategic review began in May 2017 as a joint exercise between the field presence and United Nations Headquarters, led by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and under the overall guidance of an integrated task force. The review followed the methodology prescribed in the United Nations Policy on Integrated Assessment and Planning and was structured in three phases.
The first phase was dedicated to producing a conflict analysis as the basis for determining the priorities of the United Nations and MONUSCO in the current period and following the implementation of the 31 December agreement. In that regard, three broad scenarios were identified: (a) successful implementation of the 31 December agreement, albeit with a delayed timeline (best case scenario); (b) incomplete implementation of the agreement (status quo); and (c) the collapse of the agreement (worst case scenario).
In the second phase, further consultations were held with the Permanent Representative of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the United Nations,
Security Council members, troop- and police-contributing countries, United Nations system agencies and subject matter experts, including through a workshop organized by the International Peace Institute and the Stimson Centre. A principal-level meeting was also held to validate the conflict analysis and agree on the broad parameters for the subsequent phases of the review.
In the third phase, a multidisciplinary review team, led by the Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations and comprising senior representatives of key Secretariat departments and members of the integrated task force, visited the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 28 July to 7 August 2017.
The team travelled to Kinshasa, Kananga, in Kasai Central Province, and Goma and Katale, in North Kivu Province. The review team consulted MONUSCO counterparts, the United Nations country team, national and provincial government officials, the leadership of the national security forces, members of the Independent National Electoral Commission, representatives of the presidential majority and the opposition, civil society organizations, religious leaders, non-governmental organizations, the diplomatic corps and officials of the African Union, the European Union and the International Organization of la Francophonie in the country.