UN blocked in attempt to check reports of Rwandan troops in DR of Congo

29 October 2003

The United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has reported that it had been stopped in its effort over the last few weeks to check on reports of Rwandan troops being stationed inside the Congo.

In a dispatch from Kinshasa, the UN Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC) reported that UN military observers sent to the eastern province of North Kivu were denied access to a military camp, and blocked in attempts to speak to soldiers in another.

"MONUC denounces these obstacles to its verification operations and considers that such practices may lead people to consider the allegations as not being without foundation," the statement said.

The Mission said it would continue with verification attempts "aimed at establishing the truth on the alleged presence of Rwandan troops in the eastern DRC, which risks jeopardizing the encouraging progress made in the normalization of relations between the two countries."

MONUC also said it "reiterates its suggestion for joint verification teams to be put in place, for the sake of impartiality and transparency."


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