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UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Wednesday 26 May 2004

BURUNDI-DRC: UN mission deploys more troops to South Kivu

BUJUMBURA, 26 May 2004 (IRIN) - The UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) has deployed additional troops to improve security in eastern province of South Kivu, an official told IRIN on Wednesday.

The MONUC liaison officer in the Burundian capital, Bujumbura, Col Francis Janin, said the 52-member contingent would be based in the town of Uvira, and would be deployed between the Fizi and Baraka areas, in the south of the province.

This contingent is part of MONUC's 800-strong Kivu Brigade. "The rest of the troops will come by road from Kisangani and will complete deployment within two months," he said.

The troops were expected to reinforce MONUC's presence in South Kivu, a province subject to instability, he said.

He added that when fully deployed, the brigade would "control, together with the local authorities, the security on the frontiers and the movement of weapons".

The presence of Rwanda "Interahamwe" militias and former Rwandan soldiers has had a destabilising effect on eastern Congo.

The reinforcement of MONUC troops follows pressure from the governments of Burundi and Rwanda for the UN mission to neutralise the threat posed by the Rwandan Hutu rebels based in eastern Congo.

On 26 April, Rwandan President Paul Kagame ordered the deployment of troops along the country's border with Burundi to block incursions by the Hutu rebels who have been using Burundi to stage sporadic attacks against Rwanda.


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