Congo: Militias Rearming


: Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire)
October 6, 2006: Militia groups in eastern Congo appear to be rearming. Ituri province (northeastern Congo) is the focus of UN concern over this. Militias are reportedly seeking new recruits in the area. The UN had been touting the success of its disarmament program in the eastern Congo. UN peacekeepers are also concerned that the militias are trying to buy new weapons. The UN has received promises from the governments of Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda that they will help stop the flow of arms into the eastern Congo.
October 3, 3006: Another reconnaissance drone flown by EUFOR peacekeepers has crashed in the Kinshasha area. This time the cause of the crash was an accident, not ground fire. Belgian troops serving with EUFOR reported on October 3 they "lost contact" with their recon drone and the unmanned plane crashed. One woman was killed when the drone struck the ground.
October 2, 2006: The UN and the Congolese government reported that a heavy firefight erupted in Ituri Province (eastern Congo). Twelve militiamen and two Congolese soldiers were killed in the battle. The Congo government claimed that militiamen belonging to the Ituri Patriotic Resistance Front (FRPI) attacked the Congolese force.
The European Union said that it would consider extending its peacekeeping mission in the Congo past the October 29 presidential run-off election date. Germany, however, opposes an extension of the EUFOR mission.
September 29, 2006: The UN Security Council voted to maintain its current troop commitment to the Congo through February 2007. Approximately 18,000 troops currently serve with MONUC.


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