In recent years the UN peacekeeping mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) has faced tremendous pressure to improve civilian protection in the volatile and violent eastern provinces of the country. The mission has seen its share of high-profile protection failures – including the mass rape of over 200 women, men and children in August of 2010. But MONUSCO is at the forefront of innovative tactics to protect civilians. In order to sustain and maximize these new efforts, however, the mission requires additional civilian and logistical capacity. MONUSCO also requires new information management and analysis systems in order to facilitate moving from a reactive to genuinely preventive protection posture.
1) The U.S and other members of the UN Security Council must maintain Protection of Civilians as a top priority, and prevent the diversion of scarce protection resources by keeping election-related MONUSCO tasks to the bare minimum.
2) MONUSCO leadership should request that a full-time Protection of Civilians information analyst be hired to capture the analysis generated in the provincial capitals of Goma, Bukavu and Bunia and identify mission-level protection needs and trends.
3) The MONUSCO Provincial-level Senior Management Groups on Protection should work together to develop a system that captures information collected by the Community Liaison Assistants (CLAs) and Joint Protection Teams, and allows for analysis and action in a way that ensures the safety of mission staff and of the civilians providing them with information.
4) The UN Fifth Committee should approve additional CLA posts, as well as additional provincial-level posts to support the training and management of their staff and to provide critical logistical and administrative support to the CLA program.