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Congo: Two Peacekeepers Wounded

Dr Of Congo: Two Peacekeepers Wounded In Confrontation With Rebels, UN Mission Says

Two United Nations peacekeepers are recovering from their wounds in a UN hospital today after their investigation of alleged human rights violations by a rebel militia resulted in an exchange of fire, the UN Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) said.

The operation, known by the French acronym MONUC, said the confrontation took place yesterday as UN forces were probing allegations that Jerome Kakwavu's Armed Forces of the Congolese People (FAPC) had not only executed some civilians but also some of its own child members who had tried to escape.

In addition to the two peacekeepers, one civilian was wounded and two rebels were killed. Militia members fled into the surrounding area and UN peacekeepers dismantled their camp, MONUC said.

In another development, train service between Kisangani and the southern town of Ubundu was restored today thanks to a MONUC project funded by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The UN mission said the Ubundu General Hospital would be rehabilitated over the next six months and railway traffic would contribute to the economic activity in the area.

Some 6,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) given food and supplies in the camps around Kalemie, a Lake Tanganyika port, had returned to their villages, according to MONUC. The remaining 30 per cent of the camp population who had not agreed to leave would be integrated into the local community.

Meanwhile, farmers north of Goma, a town on Lake Kivu, had complained that fighting between Hutu militias of the Democratic Forces of the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and unidentified troops - which the Rwandan Government has denied are its forces - has prevented them from reaching their farms, while the FDLR and other armed elements have seized their crops.

OCHA and MONUC's Humanitarian Affairs Section were organizing an assessment mission to find out what humanitarian assistance was needed.

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