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UN votes unanimously to start the withdrawal of peacekeepers from Congo by year’s end

Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The Security Council has voted unanimously to start the withdrawal of the U.N. peacekeeping force from Congo before the end of the year as the conflict-ridden country prepares to elect its next president on Wednesday. The council resolution adopted Tuesday orders “the gradual, responsible and sustainable withdrawal” of the peacekeeping mission, known as MONUSCO, starting in South Kivu in eastern Congo. It also orders the gradual handover of its responsibilities to the Congolese government. In a U.N. speech in September, Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi, who is running for re-election, called for an accelerated withdrawal of the 15,000 peacekeepers. The resolution extends MONUSCO’s mandate until Dec. 20, 2024 and reduces its troop ceiling.

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