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DR Congo: UN Peacekeepers To ‘Press’ Rebels

DR Congo: UN Peacekeepers To ‘Press’ Rebels To Leave Eastern Town

United Nations peacekeepers in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) intend to press fighters from the DRC-based Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a mainly Hutu rebel group, to leave a town they recently entered near the Ugandan border.

The UN Mission for the DRC, known by its French acronym MONUC, disputed information in some news reports that FDLR had systematically redeployed to “fill in” positions vacated by another rebel group, the National Congress in Defence of the People (CNDP), although they had entered the town of Ishasha in the northeastern part of strife-torn North Kivu province.

“UN peacekeepers, meanwhile, will be redeploying in the Ishasha region until later this month,” UN spokesperson Michele Montas told a news briefing in New York. “The peacekeepers are patrolling the region, and they intend to press the FDLR forces to leave.”

Deadly fighting between Government forces, the CNDP and Mayi Mayi militia in North Kivu province in recent months has some 250,000 people to flee their homes.

Meanwhile, with security improving in Orientale, another eastern DRC province, UN peacekeepers are helping to redeploy aid agencies there. The first group of aid workers from the UN World Food Programme (WFP), UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian affairs (OCHA) arrived there on Tuesday to assist some 6,000 internally displaced persons.

The region has suffered repeated raids by the Ugandan rebel Lord’s Resistance Army, which has killed at least 20 people and abducted more than 150 children since September.

MONUC also said today that it is continuing to reinforce its presence in North Kivu, with French-speaking blue helmets having arrived in the provincial capital Goma to protect civilians.

The mission noted that its combat helicopters in Goma and in neighbouring provinces are on alert and ready to respond to respond to any threat of attack.

ENDS

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