DRC peace brigade lauded by regional envoy

Nov. 6, 2013 at 9:23 AM
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KAMPALA, Uganda, Nov. 6 (UPI) -- The Democratic Republic of Congo was a good test case for a U.N. brigade mandated to use force, a U.S. special envoy to the region said.

A so-called intervention brigade for the U.N. peacekeeping mission in DRC had a mandate to use force to bring peace to the country. Former Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., appointed to serve as U.S. special envoy to the region, told the BBC the brigade proved its merit.

"It has enormous potential to add great credibility to U.N. peacekeeping operations [in other conflict zones]," he said in an interview published Tuesday. "It has great promise and significance."

Helicopters deployed by the mission in eastern DRC were fired on twice in recent weeks by rebels with the March 23 Movement.

Feingold is in the region to support a DRC peace initiative. An agreement reached by negotiators working from neighboring Uganda calls for an end to fighting between M23 and Congolese forces.

M23, comprised of former soldiers who mutinied last year, agreed to disarm and turn to political means to achieve their objectives. The movement briefly captured territory in eastern DRC last year before being repelled under U.N. supervision.

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