taz: Mr Kobler, you have been leading the largest UN mission in the world
for five weeks now. What is the most important thing to you about it?
population. We have influence here to realisethe values of the UN charta – you
can afford to be be radical when child soldiers or sexual violence is
here, first and foremost as far as the Congolese army is concerned. There is a
human rights checkfor units we work with. There is permanent observation
positive impression of the army leadership,that it’s in their interest to follow
up such things. I am satisfied with the readiness of the government to implement
“zero tolerance”. It’s difficult on the ground because it (the government)
doesn’t control some areas. But UN resolution 2098 charges us with
re-establishing state authority in the East.
conditions so that everyone, including minorities, feels at home in the country.
The roots of the conflicts must be fought in order to remove legitimacy from the
armed groups. The other thing is not to tolerate certain
authority. But this also means a more active and robust attitude by the
brought a new dynanism. But the civilian part is not adequately set up in
Eastern Congo. Kinshasa is far away. I am trying to base the main part of the
civilian structures in Goma. One of my deputies will be transferred to
based on the analysis that after 14 years UN activity may have stabilised the
situation but there is still cohabitation with armed groups. The important thing
is to re-establish state aurthority.
Goma and we got serious in protecting the civilian population on the side of the
Congolese army. I was in Goma myself, I was at the frontline, I saw the missiles
which came down on Goma. Now Goma is beyond the reach of the missiles. But we do
want a political solution. We don’t want to fight! We want the Congolese state
to regain its monopoly of violence, in every square metre of its territory. We
have the military means to do that. We will fight if necessary. Our mandate is
clear: Protecting the population. I get reports of atrocities and rapes on my
desk every day. It can’t go on like this.
the government. The idea: when an area is “liberated”, the government – not the
UN – must build up the state. We provide help. There are six elements:
prosecutors, judges, schools, police, security, healthcare, public works. The
area is secured by the Congolese army with our help.
inactivity, and we do have to question ourselves critically in this regard. I
sense a change of mood in the population and the government, and in the
happen. And we will defend the civilian population
same time. The brigade is not a magic weapon. In Goma we all worked together.
The question is not how big the brigade is but how it works together with the
army. A UN helicopter landing somewhere and a militia commander coming
new instruments with combat helicopters and artillery and drones, which we
didn’t have before. A third of the FIB troops are still not here and the
it plays its part?
envoys. But I deplore that Germany and the EU want to disengage from security
sector reform. That is a wrong signal. Reforming the security secor is an
absolute priority. Congolese intervention forces need to be built which act
according to international human rights standards. That’s important. I hope that
the EU will revise its decision.
is not legitimate?
the next elections. I have proposed a three-way partnership. First with the
Congolese people to whom our loyalty is primarily directed. And of course with
the current government which we assist but which we also accompany in a critical
spirit: If there is something to criticise I don’t hesitate to do so. And the
third element is partnership with the international community.
and fulfil our mandate to protect them. I will make sure that we take the
protection of civilians more seriously than we have perhaps done these last 14