DR of Congo: UN force commander offers upbeat assessment at tour's end

18 December 2003

The peace process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the work of the United Nations mission (MONUC) there have made good progress, Force Commander General Mountaga Diallo said today as he wound up his nearly four-year tour of duty.

Speaking to reporters in the country, General Diallo said he was convinced that the DRC would come to have a unified army and democratic institutions.

When General Diallo began his tour in April 2000, there were only about 100 military observers in the DRC. As he prepared to leave, he said he was "particularly gratified" by the breakthrough in the deployment of troops, now at the authorized strength of 10,800.

Also today, a MONUC spokesman reported that the Mission recently repatriated 392 Ugandan ex-combatants and their dependents from the DRC's Kitona military base and completed the screening of 129 Rwandans, including 72 ex-combatants, for repatriation in the next few days. The mission sent home 29 Rwandan ex-combatants and their dependents from Goma on 15 December, he said.


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