Donald Trump scales back the UN’s peace-keeping in Congo

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WHAT does the presidency of Donald Trump mean for Africa? Diplomats got a hint on March 31st when the mandate of MONUSCO, the United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, was renewed. Two days earlier, Nikki Haley, Mr Trump’s ambassador to the UN, accused the mission of “aiding a government that is inflicting predatory behavior against its own people”. When the details of the renewal emerged, the mission, which is the world’s largest and most expensive peacekeeping operation, had been cut down in size by 3,000 soldiers. As Congo faces a surge of violence in its remote interior, and its political crisis continues, it is a worrying hint of American disengagement.Despite Ms Haley’s comments, the reduction seems to be driven more by penny-pinching than ideology. “There’s a lot of pressure from Washington to cut budgets,” says Jason Stearns, of the Congo Research Group in New York. “And it’s just a very simple financial math, cutting money means cutting soldiers.” With a budget of $1.2bn last year, and a strength of over 22,000 personnel, MONUSCO certainly has plenty that can be trimmed. Echoing her boss’s language, Ms Haley told reporters…Continue reading
Source: Economist