Tough to assess, but there’s a big reason to be skeptical of the progress they can make. The math.
With the stepped-up and increasingly militarized United Nations peacekeeping operation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, launched earlier this year, there are now 19,000 UN troops on the ground. That still only works out to per capita coverage of about 47 square miles per soldier. For comparison, the U.S. alone brought 148,000 troops in 2003 to invade Iraq, a nation less than one fifth the size of the DRC. It’s unclear how many troops the DRC government has under its command at any given point, but on the low end they only have 144k troops, most of which aren’t particularly useful or competent at securing the peace.