Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire)
4, 2006: The 632 members of the new parliament have been announced, which
apparently will cause many armed groups to quiet down, until they see what the
new legislators will do for, or against, them. The various rebel groups are
also cowed by the recent vigorous (violent) actions by UN peacekeepers. The UN
troops have switched from passively observing, to meeting violence with
violence. Since the UN soldiers are better trained and equipped than the rebels,
they are nearly always successful. The word gets around, and the rebels are
trying to come up with new tactics to deal with this.
1, 2006: Germany withdrew 100 troops from the Congo, out of a force of had 760
peacekeepers serving as part of the reinforced EUFOR peacekeeping
contingent sent to protect the Congolese elections. The German government said
it plans to pull all of its troops out by this Christmas.
29, 2006: The Ituri Patriotic Resistance Front (FRPI) militia agreed to disarm.
During disarmament negotiations the FRPI and two other militia groups admitted
they had approximately 700 "child soldiers" serving in their forces.
28, 2006: A firefight broke out in the eastern Congo town of Sake (near the
Rwandan border, in North Kivu province). Congolese Army units (FARDC) exchanged
gunfire with a "dissident" army faction led by rebel general Laurent Nkunda. At
least two soldiers were killed and 15 people wounded in the fighting on
November 28. Nkunda's militia (elements of what was the Army 83rd Brigade)
attacked the town on November 26. A UN force manned by Indian soldiers and the
11th and 14th Brigades of the Congolese Army counter-attacked and drove the
militia from the town. The UN unit was supported by armored personnel carriers
and an attack helicopter. In the November 26 fighting, 75 Congolese
soldiers were reported wounded. The Indian troops have been operating in and
around the Congolese town of Goma. The border area remains extremely sensitive.
The UN is concerned that militias operating in North Kivu and South Kivu are
still receiving logistics support (including new weapons) from outside the