DR of Congo: UN to increase peacekeepers, shore up peace process in northeast

23 April 2003

The United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) announced today that it would increase the number of UN peacekeepers in the Ituri province, in the volatile northeast of the country.

This deployment - beginning today with the Mission's first Guard Unit heading to Bunia - is part of a re-enforced UN civilian and military presence in an effort to strengthen security in the area, and will be increased in the coming weeks, according to the UN Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC).

MONUC's new commitment to the peace process in the troubled Ituri region comes at a time when initiatives are under way to launch the transition under the best possible conditions.

With that in mind, the Mission particularly hopes the new strategy will give an additional boost to the work of the Ituri Pacification Commission, established after months of contentious negotiations and which, a little more than a week ago, was able to finally sketch out a power-sharing local administration that will manage the region until a new post-war national government takes over.


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