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Democratic Republic of Congo - Monuc

UN suspends support to some DRC army units

Article published on the 2009-11-03 Latest update 2009-11-03 09:00 TU

Monuc soldiers(Photo: AFP)

Monuc soldiers
(Photo: AFP)

Monuc, the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), says it will suspend its operational support to DRC army forces in the east of the country, according to UN-backed Radio Okapi.

The head of UN peacekeeping, Alain Leroy, said attacks on civilians had been carried out by the DRC's army, the FARDC, between May and September this year. The attacks left 62 people dead, including women and children.

Leroy said the soldiers responsible appeared to be from the 213th brigade of the army, and that while a joint investigation by Monuc and the army was ongoing, operation support would be suspended for "the implicated FARDC units".

The killings took place near the village of Lukweti, around 80 kilometres northwest of Goma, the capital of the Nord-Kivu province.

Kevin Kennedy, Monuc spokesperson, told RFI that "there is very clear evidence that there was a series of targeted killings of civilians between May and September of this year".

Interview: Kevin Kennedy, Monuc spokesperson, Kinshasa

02/11/2009 by Alexandra Brangeon


"What it means essentially is that the United Nations will not provide rations or logistical support to those units of the FARDC nor will it provide operational support," he said.

The DRC army has been leading an offensive in the east of the country since January this year, in a crackdown on FDLR Hutu rebels. The fighting has left 1,000 dead and 900,000 people homeless.

"The FARDC includes many different elements of armed groups that have recently been integrated into the Congolese army and discipline", said Kennedy, "command and control are major problems. This is part of an effort to support the FARDC command in imposing discipline".

Kennedy said this was UN policy concerning the DRC, "where we have credible reports, where we have evidence that there have been human rights violations that are due to actions by units of the FARDC or by their commanders then the agreement by Monuc and the FARDC is that we will immediately investigate those instances".

"If the corrective action is not taken then Monuc will suspend the support to those units that were involved," he said.

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