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Posted: 6/21/2003 5:46:18 AM EDT
France, Africans Back Larger Congo Force By EDITH M. LEDERER Associated Press Writer France and many African nations are backing Secretary-General Kofi Annan's call for a larger U.N. peacekeeping force with a more robust mandate in war-torn eastern Congo, but the United States appears reluctant to agree. Many Congolese are hoping the United Nations will intervene to stop fighting in the region. On Thursday, attackers abducted two U.N. observers, reportedly to demand that the U.N. mission in Congo be given a stronger mandate. At present, U.N. troops in Congo are deployed under a mandate that only allows them to fire in self-defense. They have not attempted to stem the violence between rival factions of the Hema and Lendu tribes that has killed more than 500 people in and around the eastern town of Bunia since the beginning of May. Hamadoun Toure, spokesman of the U.N. mission in Congo, said Friday that the two unarmed U.N. military observers were abducted Thursday from their residence in Beni, 96 miles southwest of Bunia. Toure declined to identify the observers. A rebel faction that has allied itself to the Congolese government said they had identified the attackers and claimed captors were holding the observers to demand that the U.N. mission in Congo be given a stronger mandate. "The captors said they are holding them to press demands that (the U.N. mission) be given a stronger mandate, like the one given to the international force in Bunia," said Mbusa Nyamwisi, leader of RCD-ML. The rebel faction, RCD-ML, was supposed to guarantee the security of the observers, who are monitoring cease-fire agreements meant to end the 5-year civil war in Congo. On May 30, the council authorized the deployment of a French-led emergency force of 1,400 troops to Bunia who are authorized to shoot to kill. Their three-month mandate is to secure the airport and protect displaced people and aid workers. With the mandate for U.N. peacekeepers in Congo expiring on June 30, Annan asked the Security Council earlier this month to increase the U.N. force from 8,700 to 10,800 and asked for a stronger mandate. At the first council meeting Thursday to discuss Annan's report, U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte said the United States asked for an extension of the current mandate without specifying for how long. France's U.N. Ambassador Jean-Marc de La Sabliere proposed a 15-day extension, stressing that the council has to act quickly to give a clear signal that there will not be a weaker military presence once the French-led force departs at the end of August, council diplomats said. Negroponte said the United States didn't respond to the French request and council members agreed that the length of the extension was still to be determined. Council experts scheduled a meeting Monday to discuss the issue. The United States is open to a U.N. peacekeeping contingent led by Bangladesh replacing the French-led force but "we would want to look ... very, very carefully" at increasing the size or mandate of the U.N. force, Negroponte told reporters on Wednesday. "Our view is that fundamentally no amount of peacekeeping forces are going to be able to help resolve this situation if there isn't the political will among the parties in the Congo and in the neighboring countries," he said. Angola's U.N. Ambassador Ismael Gaspar Martens said "it's clear that there is a need for a response from the international community. And I think if we are able to come together to respond to crises which exist in other places ... I think we should also speak with one voice" on Congo. The war in Congo erupted in August 1998 after Rwanda and Uganda sent troops to back rebels attempting to oust Laurent Kabila, then president of Congo. Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia sent troops to support Kabila. While it began over regional security issues in the wake of Rwanda's 1994 genocide, the war is now largely about the control of the gold and timber in the eastern part of the country. [url]http://kevxml2a.infospace.com/_1_2U69TY102E8MFMD_7735378_cnglr.en/apnws/story.htm?kcfg=apart&sin=D7RQ59NO0&qcat=news&ran=17974&passqi=&feed=ap&more=1[/url]
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 5:52:03 AM EDT
Fine. Send the Germans and the Belgies. Let them clean up their own messes.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 5:54:14 AM EDT
From what I have read the French have troops all over Africa. Let them finish up the mess that was created by the UN.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 6:13:56 AM EDT
Im going going out on a limb here: A genocide killing at least 100,000 Congolese will occur within a year (BTW, the French are only authorized to be there until August 2003).
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 7:43:35 AM EDT
What kind of peacekeepers are authorized to fire in self defence? Hell, if I were being fired on I would be firing back to defend myself, no matter what my standing orders might be. "The US did not respond to the frog request." Heh, I like that! "With the mandate for U.N. peacekeepers in Congo expiring on June 30, Annan asked the Security Council earlier this month to increase the U.N. force from 8,700 to 10,800 and asked for a stronger mandate." Does this turkey really think increasing troop strength by 15% will make a hill of beans worth of difference? There is so much that is *wrong* in the artical I want to shake my head and thank my lucky stars I am not French.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 9:30:54 AM EDT
Peacekeeping won't work, unless there's a peace to keep.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 9:56:27 AM EDT
The "Congo".....in one hand. Any American "Inner City" in the other hand. What's the difference? Nothing.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 10:04:06 AM EDT
France and Africa at war again. Shit dreams do still come true. I can't believe they were stupid enough to have another go at it. And in the Congo again, no less. And if the US sends even one fucking guy over there I'm gonna be pissed. Remember Somalia anyone? Wall up fucking africa and just use it as a toxic dumping ground for the Charles Mansons and Carr Brothers of the world.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 10:04:52 AM EDT
Originally Posted By raven: Im going going out on a limb here: A genocide killing at least 100,000 Congolese will occur within a year (BTW, the French are only authorized to be there until August 2003).
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I doubt your numbers, they seem low.
Link Posted: 6/21/2003 10:53:03 AM EDT
Originally Posted By raven: Im going going out on a limb here: A genocide killing at least 100,000 Congolese will occur within a year (BTW, the French are only authorized to be there until August 2003).
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If you're gonna go out on a limb, don't stand so close to the trunk!! I'll see your 100,000, and raise ya 50,000. [:D]
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