Congo Watch: DR of Congo: peacekeepers help army against rebels

Friday, March 03, 2006

DR of Congo: peacekeepers help army against rebels

United Nations press release via Scoop 2 March 2006:

In the second military operation this week of its kind, some 300 United Nations peacekeepers, backed by helicopter gunships, are helping the army of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) dislodge militia said to have been looting and enslaving locals in the eastern region of the vast country.

The UN Mission in the DRC (MONUC) reported today that Congolese troops have been fighting for the past six days to dislodge the militia members from the town of Tchei, some 60 kilometres south-east of the Ituri region's main town, Bunia. The blue helmets involved come from MONUC's Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Moroccan contingents.

On Monday, the mission announced that another 300 'blue helmets,' also backed by combat helicopters, were helping the army further south to drive out rebels from neighbouring Rwanda, where they have been operating for the past 10 years in the heavily forested area north of Bukavu, the main city of the South Kivu region.

"MONUC is intervening to bring security to the region and assure the protection of the civilian population," the mission said in a statement on that operation against Hutu rebels of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).

The Hutus moved across the border in the aftermath of the 1994 Rwandan genocide of Tutsis and moderate Hutus by extremist Hutus, in which 800,000 people are estimated to have died.

The operations were the latest in recent months in which MONUC has played a more active role in seeking to bring stability to the eastern DRC as the country prepares to hold national elections in June to cement its transition from a six-year civil war that cost 4 million lives through fighting and the attendant humanitarian catastrophe - the most lethal conflict in the world since World War II.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I currently live in Kinshasa and what I heard actually happened is that the Congolese troops turned on their commander, who had to be rescued by the UN troops while the "militia" sat back and laughed, "hey, the Congolese troops are going to do our fighting for us!" The Congolese troops fired repeatedly while the commander and the UN troops flew away in a helicopter. Apparently the Congolese troops haven't been paid in quite some time.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006  

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