United Nations will boost its mission in Dr Congo

UN to boost mission in DR Congo

Wed, 19 Feb 2014 01:06:53 GMT

The United Nations says it will deploy more peacekeeping soldiers to the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Katanga province in the south.

MONUSCO (the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in DRC) “has decided to deploy special forces at Pweto to protect Katanga’s population,” MONUSCO chief Martin Kobler said on Twitter on Tuesday.

MONUSCO’s military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Prosper Basse said the peacekeepers were yet undecided about the exact size of the troops but a date would be announced shortly for their deployment.

The UN’s humanitarian coordinator in Congo, Moustapha Soumare, released a statement, expressing concerns about the “critical” conditions in the mineral rich province.

“We must step up our humanitarian response if we want to save the province from a general crisis,” Soumare said.

The violence in the impoverished province is attributed to the Mai Mai militia groups.

The Mai Mai are indigenous to the region and insist that they are Congo’s true patriots. Since the 1990s, the Mai Mai fighters have forged and broken alliances with a variety of domestic and foreign government and guerilla groups in a country that has experienced interminable cycles of violence for nearly 15 years.

Congo has faced numerous problems over the past few decades, such as grinding poverty, crumbling infrastructure, and a war in the east of the country that has dragged since 1998 and left over 5.5 million people dead.

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