German troops stationed in Uganda, near Congo

Fred Feldman ffeldman at
Sat Jul 5 12:47:49 MDT 2003

First German troops in DR Congo mission arrive in

BERLIN, July 4 (AFP) - The first German troops
involved in the French-led EU peacekeeping force sent
to the troubled northeast of the Democratic Republic
of Congo (DRC) have arrived in Uganda, the defence
ministry said Friday.

The soldiers flew into Entebbe aboard a Transall
transport aircraft at 1315 GMT with water and food
supplies for a rear base in Uganda, next to the DRC.

Germany plans to send up to 350 troops to provide
medical and logistical assistance to the EU force
until September 1. The German troops have no mandate
to enter the DRC.

France commands the EU contingent, mandated by the
United Nations, which has around 600 troops, almost
all French, in the strife-torn northeast town of Bunia
and 600 others at the rear base.

The region has been plagued by ethnic violence since
1999. More than 50,000 people are estimated to have
died in the fighting and 500,000 displaced.

The force was deployed under a broad operation to rid
Bunia of all armed men, whatever their factional
allegiance, following a spree of executions,
abductions and rapes.

Belgium, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Ethiopia, Pakistan,
South Africa, Sweden, Ireland and India have also said
they would contribute to the force.

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