DR of Congo: UN mission continues rollout of Bangladeshi troops in northeast

11 August 2003

The United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) continues to expand its security presence in the country's volatile northeast with the deployment of 250 Bangladeshi troops attached to its task force in Ituri.

The UN Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC) reported that the soldiers arrived in Bunia from Bangladesh yesterday, to expand the contingent of the UN mission there, which must replace the multinational forces on 1 September.

In late May, the Security Council authorized the deployment of a French-led international emergency force to help stabilize the situation in the resource rich area, where ethnic clashes between Lendu and Hema clans had killed more than 400 people since late Spring. Fighting in remote areas of the region has continued, even though a new power-sharing transitional government was installed last month in the capital Kinshasa.

With the arrival of the new troops, "MONUC II," whose mandate recently was extended by the Council, currently counts about 730 Bangladeshis in the field.

Today, MONUC chief William Swing will meet Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni in Kampala to discuss the situation in the Ituri region.


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