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Posted: 6/6/2003 1:36:01 AM EDT
BUNIA, Congo (Reuters) - An advance party of French troops arrived in Congo's embattled Bunia town on Friday in the first deployment of a 1,400-strong rapid reaction force to stop bloodletting among rival militias. The United Nations says about 500 civilians have been massacred in inter-ethnic fighting in and around Bunia in the northeastern Ituri region in the past two weeks and 50,000 have been killed since 1999. Two planeloads of French soldiers flew in with Jeep-type reconnaissance vehicles and light weapons shortly after dawn to Bunia, a dilapidated settlement of more than 200,000 people near the Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC) border with Uganda. Two of the soldiers later told Reuters that the arrivals numbered about 100. Some of the troops immediately began patrolling the perimeter of the airstrip. The U.N. mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC) has around 700 personnel in and around Bunia, but their mandate is limited. Militias allied to the Hema and Lendu tribes have killed hundreds and ransacked the town despite their presence. "Our main mission in the coming days is to secure the airport in liaison with MONUC on the ground and to get our deployment ready," the senior officer of the French soldiers, who declined to give his name, told reporters. Though Bunia is largely quiet, unconfirmed reports suggest rebels are still carrying out executions in the town. Militiamen from both sides, often drugged or drunk, have also raped and looted and forced thousands of civilians from their homes. The 1,400-strong force has been approved by the U.N. Security Council and will include some 1,000 French troops based in Bunia, backed by artillery and by fighter jets based in the region. It will take 45 days to complete the deployment. The rest of the troops will come from a small group of other European Union nations and non-European countries such as Canada and South Africa. Its mission will end on September 1.
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"Protecting the population" is an obvious excuse for naked imperialism and exploitation!!!1! NO WAR FOR OIL!!! [ROFL]
Link Posted: 6/6/2003 1:44:02 AM EDT
I thought this was gonna' be a cheese eating surrender monkey thread.
Link Posted: 6/6/2003 1:45:49 AM EDT
Originally Posted By operatorerror: I thought this was gonna' be a cheese eating surrender monkey thread.
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oh ok!!! [img]http://politicalhumor.about.com/library/graphics/french_surrendermonkey.jpg[/img]
Link Posted: 6/6/2003 2:51:40 AM EDT
Originally Posted By operatorerror: I thought this was gonna' be a cheese eating surrender monkey thread.
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Oh, it will be. Just wait until one of the locals throws a rock or something at one of the Frenchies. They'll give up in short order!
Link Posted: 6/6/2003 3:08:13 AM EDT
Well good for them, are they going to show the locals how to cook pygmies with cheese? Anybody got a un.org link for their rules of engagement and their actual mission. is it: a) protect French business interests b) Protect UN interests c) Sit on the side-lines and watch the massacres d) Attempt to do something useful but be choked by their politicians ROE e) actually do something useful and have the means to do it. Phil
Link Posted: 6/6/2003 5:13:35 AM EDT
Read this. [url]www.biddho.com/portal/article3407.html[/url]
Link Posted: 6/6/2003 8:43:14 AM EDT
Good link, Matt. I was going to say the gloves come off when French Interests are at stake. No cheese eating velvet glove treatment within France's "sphere of influence." Funny, they used to call it "empire" in our un-PC past. Chirac will put the hammer on anyone who steps out of line here. Damn. I was trying to recall which African country France tried to get in line before the UN Iraq vote. The French envoy was pretty well hated for his heavy handed arm twisting there.
Link Posted: 6/6/2003 8:45:07 AM EDT
I bet they're feeling safer already in Congo.
Link Posted: 6/6/2003 9:10:57 AM EDT
" Its mission will end on September 1. " They already have a surrender date.. Now, if we could have government programs with cut-offs like this that would be something.
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