Monday, November 10, 2008

Congo update

France has failed to persuade the EU to send 1500 soldiers to eastern DR Congo to augment the UN peacekeeping force (MONUC), according to a radio report I heard earlier today. The 17,000 UN peacekeepers must deal with a region with roughly 1.7 million people, as Edmond Mulet, UN Asst. Sec. Gen. for Peacekeeping, pointed out in a letter published in yesterday's Wash. Post. Meanwhile, Gen. Nkunda, whose forces have been fighting Congolese government forces as well as, apparently, some soldiers from the government's ally Angola, threatened in an interview with the BBC to overthrow the government of Joseph Kabila unless it agreed to talks. Congo's ambassador to the UN dismissed the remarks. The UN has accused both sides in the recent fighting of war crimes against civilians.

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