DR of Congo: Annan condemns rebel group's intimidation of UN mission

18 June 2002

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today strongly condemned recent acts of intimidation by a rebel group against the UN Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), including one on Monday in which UN personnel were abducted and assaulted.

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today strongly condemned recent acts of intimidation by a rebel group against the UN Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), including one on Monday in which UN personnel were abducted and assaulted.

"The Secretary-General reminds the [Rally for Congolese Democracy-Goma] leadership that MONUC is deployed in the [country] to assist in the peace process," Fred Eckhard, a spokesman for the Secretary-General, said in New York. This assistance can only be provided with the full cooperation of the parties, who are responsible for the security of United Nations staff, he explained.

"The Secretary-General wishes to remind the RCD-Goma of its obligations in this regard, and calls on it to comply with relevant Security Council resolutions," the spokesman added.

Yesterday, an RCD-Goma commander, accompanied by an armed team, forced his way into MONUC facilities at the Onatra port in Kisangani, where they manhandled the guard on duty and abducted two staff members, who were taken to an RCD facility at the far end of the compound.

The two UN personnel were assaulted and sustained injuries to the face before being released about 20 minutes later, according to Mr. Eckhard. This incident was followed by two subsequent forcible entries into MONUC facilities by RCD-Goma, later yesterday afternoon and again this morning.

 

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