The Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) participation in joint operations with the UN peacekeepers is a welcome step to fight armed rebel groups ahead of its national elections, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told the Security Council on Monday.
The country has scheduled presidential elections to take place in November.
“Due to the threat posed by armed groups, population displacements and human rights violations occur on a daily basis in some parts of the country,” Ban said. “As the DRC enters a delicate electoral period, we are concerned about the risk of election-related violence, which could worsen an already grave humanitarian situation.”
Ban noted he has welcomed the decision by the government to resume joint military planning and operations with UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) to eliminate the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).
The MONUSCO website lists the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda as an extremist group operating in the eastern part of the country. The group has been blamed by human rights monitors for widespread war crimes, including ethnic massacres, mass rapes, and forced recruitment of children.
The Allied Democratic Forces, an Islamist group that seeks to establish sharia law throughout Uganda, has also been blamed for human rights atrocities in the eastern region of the DRC.