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MONUC: We will put in place a "district without arms" in Ituri

Monuc - January 10, 2007 6:17 PM

Monuc - Ituri

During its weekly press conference on January 10 2007, MONUC stated that it remains concerned with the security situation in Ituri and North Kivu, and will be putting in place a “district without arms” objective in Ituri.

In Ituri, a governmental delegation came to Bunia on January 9 last to renew the dialogue with the Nationalists and Integrationists Front (FNI) of Peter Karim, according to MONUC military spokesperson Lt-colonel Didier Rancher.

The FNI representatives also promised to commence the DDR process (Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration).

MONUC, for its part, will guarantee the installation in Ituri of a “district without arms” free of the presence of non official arms, in cooperation with the Congolese authorities.

“Nobody can carry arms without having the official documentation. We hope to stop the fighting between these armed militia groups and the FARDC which is putting local populations on the road to exile,” added Lt. Col Rancher.

In North Kivu, MONUC has brought conditional support to the initiative of the multi level dialogue working group, which comprises of all the parties involved, including the militias of ex General Nkunda.

At the same time, in the regions of Sake and Rutshuru a process of “mixing”, under the tutelage of the FARDC, will begin next week.

This operation will consist of integrating the units which have gone through the process of brassage*, and those that have not, namely the 81st and 83rd Brigades, with the 110th, 116th and 1st Brigades.

In relation to the deployment of troops in the west of the country, MONUC said that it will move little by little the military elements back to the place they were deployed before the elections, and will withdraw the sections positioned in Bandundu, Kikwit and Matadi.

In Matadi, however, a mobile operating base will be deployed, and will be ready to move rapidly to other parts of the western region.

The MONUC units will thus retain an operational flexibility and mobility in relation to the evolution of the situation in the provinces.

MONUC spokesperson Kemal Saiki offered new years greetings on behalf of the UN Special Representative in the DRC Mr. William Swing, who hoped that 2007 would be a consolidation of the achievements of 2006 and the completion of the tasks of the transition that have yet to be accomplished.

These tasks are notably the reform of the security sector (police and army), as well as the putting in place of responsible political systems and mechanisms that will re-launch the Congolese economy.

* Brassage refers to the process whereby ex-combatants are demobilised, retrianed and reintegrated to form the FARDC-the Congolese Armed Forces.

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