DR of Congo: boats from UN mission test navigability of Congo river

DR of Congo: boats from UN mission test navigability of Congo river

The United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) today said that two speedboats were travelling northeast from Kinshasa to Mbandaka to test the navigability of the Congo river, which has remained closed for over two years.

The patrol boats are escorting a barge carrying fuel and vehicles, and are expected to reach Mbandaka in seven days. The convoy includes 12 crew members of the Uruguayan riverine unit.

The mission aims to test the safety on the river in order to open it to normal traffic, in a bid to resume trade between the Congolese provinces.

Yesterday, a team of three MONUC observers boarded a boat from Mbandaka to the northeastern town of Kisangani to prepare the openness of the river to free movement of people and goods.

All these movements are in line with the Security Council decision to open the river Congo, as announced recently by the Council mission to the Great Lakes region.