Congo: Peacekeeper Addiction

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Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire)

January 27, 2007: Congo's most pressing problem is successfully integrating former rebel militias into the Congolese Army. The Congolese Army has severe problems with corrupt commanders who "inflate troop numbers" and pocket the fake troops' pay. This happens in many places in the developing world and is also known as having "ghost soldiers" on the troop rolls. An additional problem is that many former militia commanders who have been given senior positions in the Congolese Army are under indictment for war crimes. There is no indication that substantial progress is being made in creating a dependable army. Without such a force, the country will continue to be dependent on foreign peacekeepers.

January 26, 2007: Prisoners rioted in a prison near Bunia (Ituri province, eastern Congo). Two prisoners were killed and 25 wounded when 100 police officers and 25 soldiers arrived to quell the riot. Eighteen Congolese policemen were reportedly hurt in the operation.

January 23, 2007: The Congolese government said that UN peacekeepers must stay in the Congo because the Congo's democracy remains "fragile." The Congolese statement said that Ituri, North and South Kivu, and Katanga provinces were the most unstable.

 

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