Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire)
March 18, 2007:
Former rebel (now senator) Azarias Ruberwa, has refused to disband his
personal bodyguard of some 400 troops.
Ruberwa was given until this month to disarm his supporters, and has
been told that force will be used if his men do not comply by the end of the
month. Both Ruberwa and Jean-Pierre Bemba, another warlord with a
private army, were both unsuccessful candidates in the recent presidential
elections. Both are also former rebels, who were supposed to have been bought
off with government jobs and amnesty.
March 17, 2007: Nepal reported that its 7th Ranabhim Battalion had
completed its deployment to the Congo to serve with the UN peacekeeping
mission. The unit has a strength of 425
March 16, 2007: The Congo's Kabila government is
once again confronting opposition leader Jean-Pierre Bemba. Government forces
remain near Bemba's home (a compound) in Kinshasha. Bemba has his own personal
guard detachment. In early March the Congolese Army told the detachment to
disarm. Bembas men refused. Bemba does not want to be left defenseless, and
with good reason. The Congolese Army is highly unreliable. Bemba has about 200
soldiers in his private security detachment, plus perhaps as many as 600
elsewhere that he could call on. Last fall the UN sent troops into the area
around Bemba's compound, in order to provide security and minimize clashes
between Kabila's and Bemba's supporters. It looks like the UN will have to step
in once again.
March 14, 2007: Angola and Congo completed
discussions regarding border issues along their common 2,500 kilometers of frontier. The Congo had
accused Angola or occupying Congolese territory. Angola and the Congo agreed to
form a technical team to survey 112 landmarks and confirm the border
March 10, 2007: The Congolese government said that
it had arrested the Congo's chief nuclear research scientist. 100 "bars of
uranium" had disappeared from a Congolese research facility. The government
cited "lax security" at the research facility in Kinshasha.