An unnamed senior UN official announced on January 25 that the world body wants to establish a force of about 2,500 troops — which the UN called an "intervention brigade" — in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A VOA News report noted that the brigade would be part of the larger UN mission in D.R. Congo (previously known also as the Republic of the Congo and Zaire) that numbers about 17,000 troops. The present UN force is known as known as MONUSCO (the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DR Congo).
UN officials initially said that they were expecting a regional agreement on the Congo to be signed January 28 by the presidents of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Angola, the Republic of Congo, South Africa, and Tanzania at the African Union summit in Addis Ababa. However, a follow-up VOA report on that date announced that the anticipated deal that would have included the troop increase unexpectedly fell through.
However, Reuters news reported on January 26 that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will recommend to the UN Security Council that a "peace enforcement unit" be deployed in eastern D.R. Congo.
"It is not simply peacekeeping; this is peace enforcement. It's a much more robust stance," the report quoted the unnamed official. "It will be a deterrent against the armed groups" — groups such as M23, short for the March 23 Movement, and the FDLR (Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda).
According to the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center's 2009 Report on Terrorism, the FDLR is believed to have been responsible for about a dozen terrorist attacks committed in 2009.
Reuters notes that the Congolese army has been unable to counter an insurgency by members of M23, causing conflict in Congo's eastern region.
The New American reported back on November 27 that M23 took control of Goma, a city of a million people in eastern DRC near its border with Rwanda on November 20. At that time, M23 spokesmen had made contradictory statements about whether or not their forces would withdraw from Goma.
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