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Security Council condemns attack on UN peacekeepers in DR of Congo

Security Council condemns attack on UN peacekeepers in DR of Congo

Council President Amb. Sardenberg of Brazil
The Security Council today condemned last Friday's attack on a United Nations peacekeeping patrol in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which killed nine Bangladeshi soldiers, and said it considered "this aggression, by its intentional and well-planned nature, to be an unacceptable outrage."

In a statement read at an formal meeting by this month's Council President, Brazilian Ambassador Ronaldo Mota Sardenberg, the 15-member body endorsed the concern expressed in the DRC by the International Committee in Support of the Transition (CIAT) over the "illegal and criminal activities" of the militias in the eastern DRC district of Ituri and their military and political leaders.

The statement identified the perpetrators of last Friday's ambush and murders of the UN peacekeepers as the Nationalist Integrationist Front (FNI) and blamed such leaders as FNI president Floribert Ndjabu and former FNI force commander Goda Sukpa, who have been arrested along with Germain Katanga of the Forces of Patriotic Resistance in Ituri (FRPI).

Other blameworthy leaders were current FNI force commander Etienne Lona, Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC) president Thomas Lubanga, and UPC force commander Bosco Tanganda, according to the Council and CIAT.

CIAT comprises representatives in the DRC of the five permanent members of the Security Council – China, France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States – as well as Angola, Belgium, Canada, Gabon, South Africa, Zambia, the European Union (EU), the African Union (AU) and the UN Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC).

The Security Council expressed concern that integrating officers of the Ituri militias into the national Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC) had failed to lead to the disarmament and demobilizing of militiamen and called for their disarmament to proceed without delay.

It called on donors to fund the integration of militias into national troops and police and on the Government of National Unity and Transition to deploy these integrated troops in Ituri. Those who tried to impede the disarmament and community reintegration programme would be considered a threat to the DRC's political process, it said.

The Council also reminded the States in the region of the arms embargo imposed on the DRC the year before last and said it was weighing additional measures to reinforce implementation and monitoring.

"It further urges those States to ensure that their territories cannot be used by any Congolese armed group, notably the Ituri militia, whose activities perpetuate a climate of insecurity that affects the whole region," the Security Council said.