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UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Thursday 25 August 2005

DRC: 700 UN troops sent to Fataki; protecting voter registration

KINSHASA, 25 Aug 2005 (IRIN) - The UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo sent 700 troops to the northeastern territory of Fataki on Thursday to provide security for the voter registration process, following an attack there earlier in the week by unidentified gunmen.

"The deployment is a reaction to militia attacks and also to prove that even if we are in charge of security of the electoral process, we still have an important capacity to react against armed groups," Lt. Col. Thierry Provendier, the UN military spokesman, said.

Fataki is in the troubled Ituri District, a region that has been prone to sporadic attacks by armed groups.

In Monday's attack on Fataki unidentified militiamen shot dead an electoral official in charge of identifying people arriving at a voter registration centre without identification cards. It was the first attack on a registration centre since the process began in Kinshasa, the nation's capital, on 20 June.

Disruption of registration has always been a distinct possibility given the prevailing insecurity in Ituri, although some 16,000 militiamen have disarmed voluntarily under the supervision of the UN Mission. However, some 1,000 other militiamen have refused to disarm and have actually been attacking UN peacekeepers, government troops and civilians.


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