- In a letter distributed to MONUC staff yesterday, the head of the mission Alan Doss officially announced his retirement from the UN, to begin once the Security Council renews MONUC’s mandate, which should happen in the next few weeks. “After 44 years in UN service including almost a decade in peacekeeping it is time for me to move on.” This is not unexpected, there have been rumors for over six months now that he will leave. No replacement has been found, although the former French ambassador to the UN, Jean-Maurice Ripert (currently the UN special envoy to Pakistan), is apparently close to the top of the list. Ripert has had a distinguished career in diplomacy, but has never managed a large operation or been an ambassador of UN official in a conflict zone. See here for his biography.
- Political risk premiums for foreign investors in the Congo have risen by 40% due to the mining contract review process. Canadian mining company First Quantum had its license revoked and has gone to arbitration, demanding $12 billion in compensation from the Congolese government. The same Reuters article also suggests that FDI will rise to $5 billion this year before falling to $4,5 billion next year due to elections.