See also:
» 02.03.2010 - Rights groups call for suspension of Lieutenant
» 25.02.2010 - Paris Club cuts DRC’s debt by half
» 02.02.2010 - Scores slaughtered by rebels in DRC
» 27.01.2010 - UN agency working with 100,000 DRC refugees
» 12.01.2010 - DRC refugees a problem to neighbours
» 14.12.2009 - Security Council should intervene – HRW says
» 08.12.2009 - Arms and minerals’ smuggling still rife in DRC, report
» 03.12.2009 - Congo upholds Norwegians death sentences

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Congo Kinshasa | Southern Africa
Politics | Human rights | Society

Nkunda warns against troops in DRC

afrol News, 10 November - Congolese renegade leader General Laurent Nkunda has warned against African peacekeepers in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, saying their deployment could ignite violence.

Heads of southern African countries have also announced yesterday that they are prepared to send troops to DRC to help its government in the struggle against rebel forces led Mr Nkunda.

"It would risk setting Great Lakes region on fire," said Bertrand Bisimwa, a spokesman for the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) led by general Nkunda.

"The government should favour political solutions, by engaging in talks with the CNDP, over military solutions. The country's population is already suffering because of this," he added.

Mr Bisimwa's reaction comes after DR Congo's foreign minister admitted yesterday that while Angola had not yet deployed any troops into the country, it could do so in the future.

Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders said if needs be, would send its peacekeeping force into eastern Kivu province of DRC, noting that recent outbreak of violence is said have already displaced thousands of people.

"The SADC has called for an immediate ceasefire between the rebels and pro-government militia to allow humanitarian assistance to thousands of displaced people," read SADC statement.

SADC Executive Secretary, Tomaz Salamao, said regional team of military experts will immediately be deployed to assess situation in North Kivu province. He said the region will not stand by and witness incessant and destructive acts of violence by any armed groups against innocent people.

The upsurge in fighting in DRC's North Kivu province bordering Rwanda and the growing involvement of neighbouring states in moves to end it have raised fears of a repeat of the 1998 to 2003 DRC war that sucked in armies from the region.

Kinshasa has repeatedly denied that foreign troops are on its soil to support pro-government troops battling Nkunda's rebel forces - an assertion echoed by UN mission, which has 17 000 blue-helmeted peacekeepers on the ground.

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