Neutral force considered for DRC

GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sept. 13 (UPI) -- U.N. peacekeepers are considering a neutral force that would deploy to the eastern DRC in order to address a looming security challenge, an envoy said.

Herve Ladsous, a deputy official from the U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations, said his office was considering a regional proposal to send in a neutral force to the border between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda to help control regional violence.


"The concept must be developed and further detailed, while realizing that after all it is up to the Security Council to express itself on the approval of such a concept and its implementation," he said in a statement.

Human Rights Watch this week said the March 23 militia, which mutinied early this year, is likely responsibly for war crimes in DRC. Rwandan officials may be complicit as well given their alleged support for the movement, the organization said.

The United Nations estimated that around 500,000 people were displaced by conflict in eastern DRC in recent months. Ladsous described the situation as "an extraordinarily complex and sad situation."

M23 leader Bosco Ntaganda is accused of war crimes, including the alleged conscription of child soldiers, during the conflict. Human Rights Watch said it suspects children were executed for trying to escape recruitment.


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