RealNews

French Say Their Congo Mission Will Have Little Impact on Fighting

The French intervention on behalf of the UN in Congo will be short-lived and localised and will have a negligible impact on tribal conflict, according to a French military briefing paper obtained by the Guardian. The document confirms military analysts’ pessimism about the likely success of the mission, which began on Friday, to rein in the latest outburst of violence in the civil war which has killed an estimated 4.7 million people in four years. France, Britain, Belgium, Germany, Sweden and Norway have agreed in principle to send a bridging force of 1,400 to the north-eastern town of Bunia, in Ituri province. The advance unit comprises about 100 members of the French special forces. The document says: “The operation in Bunia is politicaly [sic] and military [sic] high risk; very sensitive and complex. France has no specific interest in the area except solidarity with the international community.” The end of the intervention, it says, has been “firmly established at Sept 1st 2003”, by which time a contingent of Bangladeshi peacekeepers is expected in Bunia. Full Story

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