DR of Congo: reporting calm in Kisangani, UN stresses need for demilitarization

15 May 2002

While reporting that the situation in Kisangani - a strategic city in the Democratic Republic of the Congo - appeared to be calm today in the wake of yesterday's clashes, United Nations peacekeepers in the country stressed the need for demilitarizing the town.

The UN mission in the country, known by its acronym MONUC, said that the centre of Kisangani seemed to be tranquil following yesterday's mutiny attempt by former combatants from the Rally for Congolese Democracy (RCD). However, tensions remained in certain areas around Kisangani, where preliminary reports indicate that five people lost their lives, the mission said.

Yesterday afternoon, a planeload of reinforcements of RCD troops arrived from Goma. MONUC is currently trying to establish the facts surrounding Tuesday's events as well as identify the victims.

These incidents, the mission spokesman in Kinshasa said, underscore the urgency of the demilitarization of the town, as called for by the Security Council.

The Council's most recent call for demilitarization of Kisangani came on 19 March, when it adopted resolution 1399.


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