EU divided on sending troops to Congo

Dec. 14, 2008 at 7:27 PM

BRUSSELS, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- European Union officials are divided over sending peacekeepers to the eastern Congo to help back U.N. peacekeepers.

The European Union's top foreign policy official, Javier Solana, will meet U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York Monday, The Sunday Times of London reported.

The peacekeepers are working to stop atrocities being committed in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

At their meeting last week, European leaders declined to send a peacekeeping force and humanitarian aid to the former Belgian colony.

Belgian Foreign Minister Karel de Gucht made a plea to his European colleagues to send an armed European Union force to North Kivu in eastern Congo. Only Sweden and Spain supported the initiative. Other nations said the 17,000-strong U.N. mission already on the ground was sufficient.

European Union ambassadors Tuesday will again examine the package of humanitarian, political and military proposals that Solana tabled this week.

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