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Rift Valley Institute

Making local knowledge work

UN’s elite force raises the stakes in DRC

An elite UN brigade tasked with "neutralising" armed groups in the DRC has raised the stakes of the peacekeeping mission in the troubled country, and some observers fear the radical step could backfire. The Force Intervention Brigade (FIB) established within MONUSCO – the UN's 17,000-strong peacekeeping mission in the DRC – was authorised by resolution 2098 in March to attack rebels pre-emptively if they do not disarm when asked. The move abandons past UN risk-aversion in a way that critics fear could create a politicised force with an offensive mandate that fuels local resistance to peacekeeping and exposes humanitarian staff to new risks. …

"While it is unclear whether the brigade will be able to live up to its ambitious military mandate, it comes with hefty political clout to back it up," wrote Jason Stearns, director of the Rift Valley Institute's Usalama Project.

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