World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


UN Forces Return Fire From Militiamen In Dr Congo

UN Forces Return Fire From Militiamen In Dr Congo

United Nations peacekeeping forces investigating allegations that militia members were assembling in a village in an eastern province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) with a view to attacking a nearby town came under fire from militiamen in an ambush, the UN mission, MONUC, said today.

The UN brigade had been told that members of the Union des Patriotes Congolais (UPC)/pro-Lubanga-Bosco's wing were gathering in Nyamamba, Ituri province, in order to attack Tchomia, 20 kilometres away, MONUC spokesman Hamadoun Toure said in his weekly press briefing.

At the end of the mission, the brigade was fired on by militiamen lying in an ambush, he said.

"The helicopters protecting the MONUC team immediately returned fire and completely destroyed the UPC camp," Mr. Toure said. "Apparently the militiamen suffered important losses which MONUC is unfortunately not in a position to assess."

The spokesman pledged that the UN would not be deterred by violence. "MONUC shall forcefully retaliate to fully implement its mandate now under Chapter VII of the UN Charter," he said, referring to the provision, which allows for the use of military power.

"We will refrain from putting civilians in danger," he added.

Another obstruction arose in Gbadolite, the town where the late DRC president, Mobutu Sese Seko, had his country house. A man identifying himself as a liaison officer, who was also a member of the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC), denied MONUC access to airplanes at Gbadolite airport on 21 and 23 February, Mr. Toure said.

In another development Commandant Joseph Kasongo, another militia leader, was arrested in Bukavu on a charge of having an illegal arms cache and flown to South Kivu yesterday. Mr. Kasongo, from the Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD-Goma), was handed over to local military officials, Mr. Toure said.

The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for the DRC, MONUC chief William Lacy Swing, held talks with senior Congolese officials to sort out the incident.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


North Korea: NZ Denounces Missile Test

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has denounced North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test. The test, which took place this morning, is North Korea’s third test flight of an inter-continental ballistic missile. More>>


Gordon Campbell: Zimbabwe - Meet The New Bosses

At 75, Mnangagwa is not exactly what you’d call a new broom. As many observers have pointed out, his track record has been one of unswerving dedication to Mugabe ever since the days of anti-colonial insurgency... To these guys, things had to change in Zimbabwe, so that things could remain the same. More>>