French military team arrives in DR Congo

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Tue May 20 08:06:07 MDT 2003


Apparently this move, proposed by Kofi Annan, was approved by  the Security
Council by "consensus."  If the deployment is approved by the Tutsi-led
government of Rwanda, which has been high on the list of U.S.-approved
African governments along with Uganda, this will indicate an improvement in
relations with France which basically ran the Hutu-dominated government of
Rwanda for several decades and was complicit in the slaughter of Tutsis
there

Perhaps the U.S. has cut a deal with France on this one, involving the fate
of the UN resolution legitimizing U.S. rule over Iraq.

One thing not in doubt: This is more bad news for the peoples of the Congo.
Fred Feldman

http://www.ptd.net/webnews/wed/ap/Qdrcongo-france-un.R7S0_DyJ.html

French military reconnaissance team arrives in DRCongo


-The Security Council approved Annan's request by
consensus, but so far only France has agreed to
provide troops for the force. Paris said, however,
that it would only do so if Rwanda and Uganda
requested that the emergency force be deployed.


KINSHASA, May 19 (AFP) - A reconnaissance team from
the French army has arrived in Democratic Republic of
Congo to evaluate the needs of an international
emergency peacekeeping force for the Ituri region to
back up the United Nations mission, MONUC.

"The group of 12 men, part of the infantry, is made up
mainly of logistics experts who will evaluate the
technical constraints of deploying an emergency
international force as requested by UN Secretary
General Kofi Annan and approved by the Security
Council on May 16," reliable sources told AFP Sunday
evening.

The Security Council approved Annan's request by
consensus, but so far only France has agreed to
provide troops for the force. Paris said, however,
that it would only do so if Rwanda and Uganda
requested that the emergency force be deployed.

The Security Council has condemned "the murders,
violence and other violations of human rights
committed recently in Bunia," the main city in
northeastern Ituri, a part of DRC riven for years by
ethnic unrest.

Fresh fighting last week in Bunia claimed at least 10
lives and sent tens of thousands of civilians fleeing
the city towards Beni, 200 kilometers (120 miles)
away.

Others sought refuge near the airport and MONUC's
headquarters in Bunia, but the lightly armed UN forces
in Ituri have been unable to provide adequate
protection to the civilians fleeing the fighting.

The UN currently has some 700 peacekeepers in Bunia.






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