The white 4×4 or the unmarked car? The clock shows 7 p.m. in one of the main Monusco sites in Goma, and two UN mission employees are debating. The road to the home of one of them is not long, barely fifteen minutes, but you still have to cross the city center. So everyone argues : the Jeep will be more efficient to make the way. Problem: its UN symbol makes it much less discreet than the station wagon parked a little further in the car park. Night has just fallen on Lake Kivu and the two members of the mission finally opt for the 4×4. “For the past few weeks, we have been a little more careful not to show ourselves too much”, justifies the driver, employed for many years in Goma.
DRC: should MONUSCO leave?
Faced with a wave of demonstrations of an unprecedented scale in July, the civilian and military agents of MONUSCO are gradually adapting to a new context. In Goma, where the mission has several bases, the members staff were instructed to exercise caution. A weekly briefing is provided to them. Civilian agents now favor unmarked vehicles and the military present in the city limit non-essential movements outside their bases. It still happens to come across certain Uruguayan, Senegalese or Bangladeshi contingents on board pick-up at the rear of which machine guns are sometimes placed. But these convoys are now parading through the arteries of Goma under the suspicious gaze of certain passers-by, who do not hesitate, by large gestures, to signify their dissatisfaction. “There is clearly a before and after the demonstrations”, confirms the Monusco agent previously cité.