The U.N. announced Friday that it is authorizing the withdrawal of 20 percent of its peacekeepers, roughly 2,000 troops, "where situations permit" from the Democratic Republic of Congo by June 30, according to a U.N. Security Council resolution.
The move is a result of pressure from Congolese President Joseph Kabila. The president wants all U.N. troops to leave by the end of 2011 saying that the country is able to manage its own affairs, reports AFP.
The U.S. peacekeeping mission, called MONUC (Mission of the United Nations Organisation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo), has been tainted by allegations of sexual misconduct by its peacekeepers.
The U.N. fears that the withdrawal will leave civilians vulnerable to attacks. Currently, the U.N. is concentrating its efforts in the east of the country, stressing the need for security in the province Kivus and in northern Orientale Province according to the resolution.
MONUC which began in 1999, will be renamed MONUSCO (United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo) on July 1, after the troop pullout.