Tanzania supports neutral force for DRC

Oct. 3, 2012 at 9:15 AM
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UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed an offer from Tanzania to contribute troops to a neutral force that could be deployed to the DRC.

Ban met with Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete to discuss regional issues in the Great Lakes region of West Africa.

U.N. authorities have expressed concern about the regional implications of a rebellion by the March 23 Movement in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The United Nations estimates that at least 390,000 people in DRC were displaced internally and another 60,000 fled to neighboring countries since M23 mutinied in April.

Ban welcomed assurances from Kikwete that Tanzania could contribute forces to an international neutral force that could be deployed to DRC.

Herve Ladsous, a deputy official from the U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations, said last month that his office was considering a regional proposal to send a neutral force to the border between the DRC and Rwanda to control the violence.

Members of M23 are suspected of committing war crimes, including sexual slavery and the recruitment of child soldiers.

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