The UN has given the green light to assist in the deployment of CENI equipment within the limits of its means.
On the eve of the weekend, responding to a new request from the Congolese government – which is still calling for the rapid departure of the blue helmets – the United Nations gave its go so that MONUSCO could assist, according to its current resources, the CENI for the deployment of electoral materials in all provinces where the need is felt.
Until now, MONUSCO had limited its intervention to the three provinces where it is active: Ituri, South Kivu and North Kivu. “There will be no interventions in other provinces,” explains a UN official who knows the situation in Congo well. “Currently, there are two Puma helicopters dedicated to supporting the Ceni. They have already transported tons of equipment to the three provinces but they can only land in safe and clearly secured places. That is to say, to go to a place outside these three provinces, a MONUSCO contingent must go there to ensure that everything is in order so that the aircraft can land safely. . Without a road, it’s very complicated. It therefore takes at least 48 hours to inspect a landing site for a helicopter. The proximity of the elections therefore makes the task impossible.”
Interventions are perhaps possible in the neighboring province of Maniema, warns our interlocutor, who once again highlights the lack of information on the mapping of polling stations and wonders about the fate of the 4 Bel UH 1 helicopters purchased by the Congolese State and made available to the Ceni in 2018 and which seem impossible to find.