U.N.'s Ban wants stronger force in DRC

March 27, 2013 at 12:03 PM
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UNITED NATIONS, March 27 (UPI) -- A special unit within the peacekeeping mission for DRC should be able to conduct offensive operations independently, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said.

Ban spoke by phone with Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila about instability in the country. Ban said through his spokesman that the U.N. Security Council should authorize a special patrol that would be able to conduct offensive operations against armed groups threatening DRC stability.

Forces from the March 23 Movement rebelled last year, saying the government wasn't honoring the terms of a peace deal. M23 forces seized control briefly over parts of eastern DRC.

M23 rebel leader Bosco Ntaganda appeared before the International Criminal Court this week. He was the subject of two ICC arrest warrants for DRC war crimes. He surrendered voluntarily at the U.S. Embassy in Kigalia, Rwanda, last week.

The U.N. mission in DRC, known by its French initials MONUSCO, handed more than 200 rebel fighters over to the Congolese government this week.

The U.N. Department of Peacekeeping Operations said rebel fighters arrived at a U.N. compound in the country last weekend after being overrun by government forces.

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