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UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

DRC: MONUC deplores arms trafficking in northeast

NAIROBI, 25 July 2003 (IRIN) - The UN on Friday denounced the trafficking of arms in northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), following the seizure of a cache of munitions in Beni on Thursday by the Rassemblement congolais pour la democratie-Kisangani/Mouvement de liberation (RCD-K/ML), who turned them over to the UN Mission in the DRC, known as MONUC.

MONUC said it would transport the munitions to Lubero, some 50 km south of Beni, where they would be destroyed.

An inquiry into the trafficking has been opened, with MONUC reporting that preliminary information indicated that the weapons were destined for armed groups in Ituri District.

The materiel was found on board of an aircraft belonging to a private company based in Butembo. The aircraft, which was transporting seven men in military uniform and two civilians, left Aru on 20 July bound for Mongbwalu, about 50 km northwest of Bunia, the main town of Ituri, but was forced to land in Beni for reasons that have yet to be established.

MONUC said the arms trafficking was a "flagrant violation" of UN Security Council resolution 1484 requiring that all parties "refrain from any military activity or from any activity that could further destabilise the situation in Ituri".

[For resolution 1484 in its entirety, go to http://ods-dds-ny.un.org/]

Theme(s): (IRIN) Conflict



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