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Attacks on the local population, roadblocks and denial of humanitarian access continue to fuel suffering in Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu provinces.
On Thursday, a UN envoy informed the Security Council that rising tensions and instability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have put UN peacekeepers on alert as they seek a definitive mandate for their upcoming withdrawal.
Bintou Keita, special representative of the UN Secretary-General in the DRC and head of the UN's peacekeeping mission MONUSCO, highlighted the ongoing attacks and humanitarian crises in key provinces to the Security Council.
According to Keita, attacks on the local population, roadblocks and denial of humanitarian access continue to fuel suffering in Ituri, North Kivu and South Kivu provinces.
"As I speak today, over 6 million people remain displaced in these places," she stated, urging continued support for underfunded relief operations.
Addressing the anticipated but yet-to-be-finalized exit of UN peacekeepers from the DRC, Keita urged the council to provide clear feedback on the August report's recommendations from the secretary-general concerning the future of the MONUSCO mission she oversees.
At the UN General Assembly last week, the DRC's president urged the UN mission to expedite its withdrawal and move the deadline up a year from December 2024 to December 2023.
Furthermore, Keita also said that another deeply concerning aspect within the crisis is the prevalence of gender-based and sexual violence. Over 10,000 survivors sought assistance from the UN peacekeeping mission, MONUSCO, in the three provinces in June and July.
In response to the acute risk of sexual violence in displacement sites, the UN Mission has stepped up patrols, including with the Congolese armed forces.