U.N. may increase DRC peacekeeping force

Jan. 26, 2013 at 2:23 PM

KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- The United Nations is close to providing 2,500 more troops to a peacekeeping force in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, diplomats said.

Continuous fighting between government forces and the rebel group M23 has displaced some 800,000 people by one estimate and has made an increased force necessary, U.N. officials told the BBC Saturday.

Part of the problem stems from support for the rebels from several outside governments, including Rwanda, which officials say has taken an increased interest in the DRC since many of the fighters responsible for the Rwandan genocide in the mid-90s fled there afterwards. Rwandan officials denied supporting the rebels.

U.N. officials said the increased peacekeeping force would target the rebel group and provide assistance to the DRC army, which is too weak to staunch the fighting on its own. The force would be recruited in Africa and could be assembled in three months, pending authorization by the Security Council.

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