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North Kivu: More than 10,000 displaced after latest clashes

MONUC - September 6, 2007 10:13 AM

At its weekly press conference on Wednesday 5 September 2007, MONUC underlined its concern with the security situation in North Kivu province in eastern DRC since 27 August last, where clashes in Masisi and Rutshuru between the FARDC and dissident General Laurent Nkunda's forces have left more than 10,000 people displaced.

At its weekly press conference on Wednesday 5 September 2007, MONUC underlined its concern with the security situation in North Kivu province in eastern DRC since 27 August last, where clashes in Masisi and Rutshuru between the FARDC and dissident General Laurent Nkunda’s forces have left more than 10,000 people displaced.

“On August 31, clashes took place south of Masisi, at the junction of North and South Kivu, in the town of Ngungu. Following this, Nkunda’s troops retreated North. The FARDC then took the control of the city and its surroundings,” explained MONUC military spokesperson Major Gabriel de Brosses.

On 2 September Nkunda’s troops attacked without success positions held by the FARDC 14th integrated brigade in Rushika, 4 km east of Ngungu. But the next day, the FARDC again pushed back Nkunda’s partisans in the area of Ngungu and on September 4 in Rutshuru at Nkokwe, 7 km from the camps of Rumanbago,” he added.

The engagements began again, on 4 September , in the area of Sake, opposing the units of the FARDC 15th integrated brigade and Nkunda’s dissidents, according to the Military spokesman. “After the latter were pushed back, the FARDC seized Karuba,” he said. The result: 10,000 people fled Sake fearing further conflict.

As part of its mandate under resolution 1756 of the United Nations Security Council, MONUC will continue to assure the protection of the local population, while offering logistical support to the FARDC. Maj. De Brosses however underlined that MONUC was not considering any joint operations with the FARDC at this point.

“Under our mandate, we cannot conduct joint military operations with the FARDC without the demand and initiative of the FARDC chief of staff, and under no circumstances would we consider carrying out these operations without full pre-planning,” he said.

On 28 August, MONUC reinforced its company of blue helemts in Masisi, and an additional Mobile Operating Base (MOB) was installed in Mushake on 29 August. On the whole, six MOBs are currently active in North-Kivu at Kishero, Mirangi, Rwindi, Nyamilima, Nyanzale and Mushake.

In addition, MONUC’s brigade intervened three times to encourage a cease fire. MONUC helicopters were used to support the displacement of FARDC soldiers towards Masisi, to evacuate the casualties of Katale, and the staff of non governmental organisations. All MONUC's military means, including MI-25combat helicopters, are constantly monitoring the area.

In all of eastern DRC, MONUC has a total of 18 MOBs active in Ituri, Katanga and in North and South Kivu.

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