f_0018767_16049 - In Pursuit of Peace Alan Doss Special...

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The Ambassadors REVIEW 6 In Pursuit of Peace Alan Doss Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the Democratic Republic of the Congo The end of all political effort must be the well-being of the individual in a life of safety and freedom. In the case of the Congo…this goal requires the maintenance and progress of economic life, the functioning of a good judiciary system, a soundly working administra- tion, all under the responsibility of a government, stable thanks to its firm roots in the free will of the people, expressed and developed in democratic forms. This is the perspective in which the effort of the United Nations must be seen. - - Dag Hammarskjöld, October 17, 1960 n June 30, 2010, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) will celebrate fifty years of independence. As the anniversary approaches Congolese people and their leaders are very mindful of the presence of a large force of UN peacekeepers in their country—just as there was when the Congo marked its first anniversary of independence. So not surprisingly they ask themselves what has been achieved during those fifty years and why do we still need such a large UN force, currently the biggest in the world? A Nation Divided When the Security Council established the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) on November 30, 1999, Congo’s survival as a nation state was in jeopardy. The country was divided into four large rebel zones under the influence of foreign powers that battled for control over resources deep inside its territory. The human toll from overlapping conflicts, estimated in 2003 to have cost over three million lives from conflict and related causes, has been compared to the devastation of World War II. Recent debate about the accuracy of these estimates notwithstanding, there can be no doubt about the devastation wreaked on Congolese society by years of cross-border and intra-State conflict. It is equally clear that peace and stability in the DRC and the region required a major commitment by the international community. MONUC represents a major portion of that investment. Since the conclusion of the Lusaka Accords in July 1999, MONUC has helped to implement a succession of peace agreements that have led to the withdrawal of eight foreign armies that were embroiled in the conflict in the Congo. MONUC and the international community encouraged a transition process that led to a democratically elected government and a constitution that pledged fundamental human rights and national unity. Over the course of the last five years, most of the areas that experienced violent conflict have been pacified, allowing millions of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to return home and enabling freedom of movement in all parts of the country. O
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f_0018767_16049 - In Pursuit of Peace Alan Doss Special...

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