Title page for ETD etd-04142010-180850

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Stiles, Michael James
URN etd-04142010-180850
Document Title The United Nations and the termination of internal conflict with reference to the United Nations Organisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo : 1999-2006
Degree MSS
Department Political Sciences
Advisor Name Title
Prof A du Plessis Supervisor
  • United Nations
  • peace missions
  • mandate
  • peacekeeping resources
  • peace support operations
  • conflict
  • internal conflict
  • co-deployment
  • peacekeeping
  • responsibility to protect
Date 2009-09-01
Availability restricted

The aim of this study is to evaluate the United Nations (UN) role in the resolution, management and termination of the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) with specific reference to the UN Organisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC). The aim emanates from the basic research question: To what extent did the deployment of MONUC contribute to the termination of internal conflict in the DRC and create conditions conducive for the holding of democratic elections? The research problem generated four subsidiary questions: Was the intention of the drafters of the Lusaka Agreement for the UN converted into a viable peacekeeping mission, especially in the early phases of the mission? Did MONUC receive adequate resources to fulfil its task, commensurate with the size and complexity of the operational theatre and its mandate? Why was a development such as the deployment of Interim Emergency Multi National Force (IEMF) in Ituri (2003) necessary, given the fact that MONUC was deployed? Were the expectations regarding MONUC involvement in the disarmament, demobilisation, reintegration, resettlement and repatriation (DDRRR) programme and the domestic disarmament, demobilisation, reintegration (DDR) programme realistic? Therefore four sub-problems were addressed, namely the issue of the mission mandate; the resourcing of the mission relative to the mandate and the operational theatre; the external augmentation of the mission; and the MONUC role in DDRRR and DDR.

Following a definition of the concept internal conflict and a discussion of the factors contributing to internal conflict, the theory of peacekeeping was described to determine a framework for the evaluation of the UN peace mission in the DRC, based on the recommendations of the 2000 Brahimi Report. Emphasis was placed on the mandate, force levels and composition, and operational capability. A historic overview contextualised the complex conflict situation in the DRC that the UN was required to help ameliorate.

MONUC made a contribution to the termination of internal conflict in the DRC by managing the conflict in a fashion that permitted democratic elections to be held. This was achieved despite the fact that the actual deployment of MONUC (in terms of its functioning, especially regarding DDRRR) did not meet the requirements for a UN force as envisaged by the signatories of the 1999 Lusaka Agreement. The expectations of the signatories regarding DDRRR were not realistic, but the UN response in terms of the mandate and allocation of resources also fell far below what was required to establish a credible UN peace mission. The graduated approach ensured a reactive MONUC posture in the field, but the reticence to provide adequate resources in response to political and operational developments necessitated the external augmentation of the mission on two occasions. While this development brought a new facet of ‘co-deployment’ in UN peacekeeping operations to he fore, it also served to highlight the MONUC deficiencies in terms of its ‘responsibility to protect’ civilians under threat of violence. MONUC was mandated from its inception to discharge this responsibility, without receiving the necessary resources to enable the conduct of operations to protect civilians. This inability resulted in the mission lacking credibility amongst the population of the DRC.

Copyright © 2009, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Stiles, MJ 2009, The United Nations and the termination of internal conflict with reference to the United Nations Organisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo : 1999-2006, MSS dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-04142010-180850/ >

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