UN mulls deployment of 3,000 new troops in Congo

November 20th, 2008 - 2:58 am ICT by IANS  

New York, Nov 20 (DPA) The UN Security Council was considering the deployment of an additional 3,000 military and police personnel to the Democratic Republic of Congo, diplomats said Wednesday.The extra troops were to man a separation zone between the warring parties in eastern Congo, where fighting has disrupted entire areas and displaced tens of thousands of Congolese.

The UN mission in Congo (MONUC) comprises more than 17,000 military troops, who are stretched thin in the vast Congolese territory.

The 15-nation council was discussing a draft resolution worked out by France to authorise the deployment of the new forces until Dec 31, with the possibility of a renewal.

The draft said the temporary deployment aims at enabling the UN mission “to reinforce its capacity to protect civilians, to re-structure its organisation, to reconfigure its forces and to optimize their deployment.”

Alan Doss, the UN special envoy for Congo, said Tuesday that MONUC would be redeployed with the new additional forces to North Kivu, the site of recent fighting. He urged the council to authorise the additional troops.

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