will monuc leave?
The idea of MONUC completely withdrawing from the DRC is ludicrous. We all know that the FARDC is one of the primary sources of instability in the east. MONUC's presence there is the only constraint on their propensity for violating human rights and engaging in war crimes. President Kabila continues to promote the idea, but visualizing what Congo - not to mention Rwanda - would look like without a major peacekeeping presence in the east is almost impossible to do. It would certainly lead to even more violence, displacement, and human suffering than already exists in the east's ungoverned spaces. For all its faults, MONUC is the only reason that anything gets done in the eastern DRC. Commerce, education, and health care are only possible because of the security the peacekeepers provide.
Grant Gordon has a nice post summarizing a discussion of what the debate over MONUC withdrawal means, and Jason Stearns provides his usual excellent commentary here.
All of us have the pleasure of commenting on these events from afar. Peter Beaumont, however, managed to capture the essence of the issue from the most important people in this debate - the ones who will suffer from MONUC's absence:
At the mobile clinic run by the group, Madiaro Rukaro is waiting for treatment. He is a farmer and a football player for the village of Kabizo, not the camp. Like the camp residents, he is scared of what would happen if Monuc were withdrawn, as Kabila is demanding.Well-said, M. Rukaro. Well-said.
"The UN helps us," he says. "If they leave there will be problems. It is wrong. If Monuc goes, then I believe things here will turn bad again."