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UN peacekeepers from Morocco arrive in eastern DR of Congo

UN peacekeepers from Morocco arrive in eastern DR of Congo

A 118-strong military contingent from Morocco arrived today in Goma in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to serve as peacekeepers within the United Nations mission in the country, a UN spokesman said today.

Spokesman Fred Eckhard told the press at UN Headquarters in New York that today's deployment had brought the total number of troops currently operating within the UN Mission in the DRC (MONUC) to more than 1,300. They are deployed in Kalemie, Kananga, Mbandaka and Kisangani, in addition to Goma. There are also close to 500 military observers, the spokesman said.

The UN operation is monitoring the implementation of an agreement, signed on 10 July 1999 in Lusaka, Zambia, by the DRC, Angola, Namibia, Rwanda, Uganda and Zimbabwe, and three rebel movements. That accord included provisions on the normalization of the situation along the DRC's border, the control of illicit trafficking of arms and the infiltration of armed groups; the holding of a national dialogue; the need to address security concerns; and the establishment of a mechanism for disarming militias and armed groups.

MONUC's current mandate ends on 15 June 2001.