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Peacekeepers in Congo Seek Rwandan Hutu Fighters

UN Peacekeepers in DR of Congo Seek Hidden Rwandan Hutu Fighters

New York, Jul 7 2005 6:00PM

United Nations peacekeeping troops in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) launched their biggest operation in the area today to flush out Rwandan Hutu fighters, the UN spokesman said.

Some 1,000 troops were participating in an operation code-named "Iron Fist," which complemented the South Kivu Brigade's "Operation Falcon Sweep," Stéphane Dujarric told journalists at the daily briefing.

Falcon Sweep started on Monday, aiming to extend the UN's security perimeter in the Walungu Territory, south-east of Bukavu, and to enhance the confidence of the local population in the peacekeepers, he said.

"This is the largest operation ever organized by the Pakistani Blue Helmets of the South Kivu Brigade, supported by Guatemalan Special Forces and Congolese troops."

The peacekeepers of the UN Mission in the DRC (MONUC) were deploying by road, in vehicles and on foot, with the Indian contingent's helicopters for close air support, into territories occupied by the Rwandan Hutu fighters to the north and south-east of Bukavu in Walungu and Kabare, Mr. Dujarric said.

Meanwhile, MONUC spokesman Kemal Saiki said the mission expected to have registered 1 million voters by the end of this week.

ENDS

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