Congo: Robust Peacekeeping Brings Peace



Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire)

September 29, 2005: The more aggressive peacekeeping by UN troops is having the desired effect. Rebels are backing off, and behaving more often. The introduction of thousands of better trained and led Pakistani troops has had an impact as well. Often, poorly trained and equipped peacekeepers were overawed by more aggressive rebels. But the Pakistanis are a tough bunch, and usually get the other guys to blink first. The Pakistanis are also better disciplined than many of the African peacekeepers that operated in eastern Congo before. That means more cooperation from the locals.

September 29, 2005: The Congo government claimed that members of Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) had fled into the Congo. The government statement said that the LRA fighters had attacked Congo civilians. The fighters also killed wildlife (including elephants) in a park inside the Congo. The Congo identified the LRA group's leader as Vincent Otti. The Congo reports follow Ugandan government statements that LRA fighters had fled into the Congo.

There appear to be 400 LRA fighters inside the Congo. This is far higher than the Ugandan government suggested last week. Meanwhile, the UN wants to extend the Congo peacekeeping operation for another year. MONUC says Congo forces are still too weak to counter rebel fighters and militias in the eastern Congo.

September 20, 2005: Rwandan Hutu militias show no sign of obeying the government order to get out of the country. The Hutu gunmen appear ready to fight.




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