DR Congo UN reinforces peacekeepers in west to quell flareup of violence

3 March 2008The United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) is dispatching additional peacekeepers to Bas-Congo province in the far west of the vast African country following renewed outbursts of deadly violence there. The United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) is dispatching additional peacekeepers to Bas-Congo province in the far west of the vast African country following renewed outbursts of deadly violence there. Condemning the latest incidents, in which seven people were killed and a dozen injured, Alan Doss, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative, today appealed to the parties for restraint, saying further violence could only worsen local problems.Earlier this month, MONUC reported that at least 70 people were killed in several towns in Bas Congo amid clashes that followed controversial local elections, after which the mission sent police reinforcements and deployed two teams to probe the situation.MONUC also released today its human rights report for January, in which it details numerous alleged violations by members of the national armed forces, known as FARDC, the national police (PNC), as well as non-governmental militias.The report also describes hearings and convictions of violators in all three categories, along with persistent incidents of mob justice.Most of the killings, rapes, abductions and beatings reported took place in the eastern provinces of North and South Kivu, where it is hoped that violence will be reduced by an agreement between militias and the Government signed after the Goma Peace Conference on 23 January.In the worst incidents of the reporting period, at least 30 people were killed by militia members using firearms, machetes and hammers in several coordinated attacks near Kalonge in North Kivu. The victims had apparently fled territory controlled by the militia.The report also says that 31 children are among a group of 79 detainees transferred from Goma to the capital Kinshasa for interrogation by the Congolese military on suspicions of spying and treason. UN human rights officers are holding discussions with Congolese authorities to find a solution to their situation in the context of recent accords.

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