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UN cuts peace-keeping force by 2,000

The move is despite the country's call for a bigger draw down.

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The United Nations Security Council has voted to cut 2,000 troops from the UN peacekeeping force in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Al Jazeera reports.

The move is despite the country's call  for a bigger drawdown.

DRC has the UN's biggest peace operation with a 20,0000-strong MONUSCO force. To this end, the 15-member council unanimously adopted a resolution that provides for the troop cuts.

This came after Foreign Minister Raymond Tshibanda last week told the council that it was time for Kinshasa to take "full responsibility for its security" after 16 years of UN troop presence in the country.

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DRC President Joseph Kabila, who is headed for the polls in November 2016, had sought an immediate cut of 6,000 troops and a clear commitment to shut down the UN peace operations in the near future.

Tensions have been rife between Kinshasa and the United Nations over how to deal with rebel groups in the east and security concerns ahead of the elections seen as a test of democracy in the DR Congo.

The drawdown would however not affect the security situation, as the UN-mandated ceiling of about 21,000 forces, which suggested that the Security Council could decide at a later time to again boost UN troop presence in the DR Congo.

The cut will then be made permanent once significant progress has been achieved.

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