NAIROBI, 3 Oct 2005 (IRIN) - The UN Security Council extended on Friday the mandate of the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), known as MONUC, until the end of October.
In a statement issued from the UN headquarters in New York, the Council said it had unanimously adopted resolution 1628 granting the extension. The Council reaffirmed its commitment to the sovereignty and political independence of the DRC and its readiness to support the peace and national reconciliation process.
MONUC's mandate would have expired on Friday.
The Council said in his most recent report to it, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan had recommended a one-year extension of MONUC's mandate, until 1 October 2006, which would include the period through the elections and the immediate post-transitional period following the installation of a new government.
Noting that the situation in the country continued to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region, the Council said it was extending MONUC's mandate until 31 October and "decided to remain seized of the matter".
Congo's constitutional referendum is scheduled to take place at a date yet to be determined, before the first extension of the transition government expires on 31 December.
Congolese political players signed the Global and All-Inclusive Agreement on the Transition in on 17 December 2002, outlining a transitional process culminating in national elections to be held two years after the June 2003 inauguration of the transitional government. The agreement allowed for the extension of the transition for two six-month periods, if technical preparations for elections were delayed.
Annan's report to the Council, dated 26 September, sought more MONUC troops and a one-year extension of its mandate until October 2006, after the installation of a newly elected government.