UN observers begin assessment of Rwandan armed elements held in DR of Congo

UN observers begin assessment of Rwandan armed elements held in DR of Congo

The Force Commander of the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) has visited Kamina in the southeastern part of the country for a preliminary assessment of Rwandan armed elements who had been rounded up by the Kinshasa government, a UN spokesman said today in New York.

The visit to Kamina by Maj.-Gen. Mountaga Diallo, which took place yesterday, is expected to be the first in a series to assess what MONUC and UN agencies on the ground can do regarding the demobilization and repatriation of the combatants, spokesman Fred Eckhard told reporters at UN Headquarters. A technical mission to screen the group at Kamina is the expected next step in the process.

During Secretary-General Kofi Annan's recent visit to the DRC, Kinshasa announced its intention to disarm 3,000 members of a group it identified as the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Rwanda, and the Secretary-General said at the time that UN observers would have access to the group.