Congo Watch: UN rebuffs Nkunda allegations over DR Congo troop surge

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

UN rebuffs Nkunda allegations over DR Congo troop surge

From AFP Kinshasa via ca.news Wed Dec 31, 2008:
UN rebuffs Nkunda allegations over DR Congo troop surge

The UN has denied allegations made by rebel leader Laurent Nkunda that the Congolese army is boosting troop numbers at a key battle line in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Nkunda, who leads the Tutsi rebel group the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP), wrote to the UN envoy to DR Congo Alan Doss on December 24 to protest at what he called the "redeployment" of Congolese troops.

He said they were reinforcing the front line in Kibati, 10 kilometres (7 miles) north of Goma, the provincial capital of the Nord-Kivu region.

Doss rebuffed Nkunda's claims, saying the UN mission to Congo (MONUC) had carried out investigations on the ground and saw no evidence of any advance by the Congolese army in the areas in question.

Kibati has been one of the main flashpoints between the Congolese army and the rebels since fresh fighting broke out at the end of August. Just a few hundred metres separate the two camps.

Talks opened between the government and the rebels earlier in December in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi. Since then, fighting between the two sides has subsided and they are set to meet for another round of talks on January 7.

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