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Disarmed Congolese militia members number 10,000, UN mission says

13 April 2005 Just over 10,000 members of armed militias in the northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have disarmed and entered transit areas secured by the United Nations peacekeeping mission under the community reintegration plan for Ituri district.

The 10,022 do not include militia members who already have laid down their arms, but who have not yet been registered in the transit areas, the UN Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC) said.

Those who were still being registered after the 1 April deadline had run into problems of getting transport to the sites, had been hostages of militia chiefs who opposed the disarmament and community reintegration programme, or were children associated with the armed groups, it said.

The armed militia members in Ituri now number no more than 2,500 to 3,000, according to a UN spokesman.

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