A total of 250 Ukrainian soldiers who were serving with the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have been recalled to their home country to assist in the fight against Russian forces. When it was announced in March that Ukraine’s aviation unit was leaving the UN mission, diplomats were worried that this could leave the mission without enough helicopters to do the job.
These are critical in the fight against the various rebel factions operating in the dense forests of eastern DRC. About a third of the United Nations’ fleet was comprised of the eight helicopters that belonged to Ukraine. Since the Russian invasion in February, Ukraine has already removed its forces from the other UN peacekeeping mission where they had been placed. This was done in preparation for the Russian attack.
Jacques Ndjoli, who is a member of the parliamentary defense committee of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, said that the pullout was a pretty important matter. However, he emphasized that it was primarily the job of the Congolese army to bring peace to the country. As the Ukrainian troops left the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Marcos da Costa, the Brazilian general in charge of the UN force, thanked them for “their 10 years of outstanding contribution.”
The United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, known as MONUSCO, is already facing difficulties in the country. It has been widely criticized for not doing enough to restore peace in the east, where numerous armed groups have been active for the past three decades, killing, raping, and looting the region’s rich mineral resources such as gold and diamonds. People have criticized the fact that not enough has been done to bring peace back to the East.
In July, demonstrators in cities in eastern DR Congo stormed UN headquarters, killing 36 people and taking the lives of four United Nations forces in the process. The mission has been in the country for 22 years, and it is meant to be winding down soon, but there has been no timetable specified for when its operations would stop. It is one of the 12 UN peacekeeping missions that takes up the greatest resources and is the most expensive.