RealNews

Won't Disarm Congo Armies, U.N. Force Declares

Three days after gun battles between warring ethnic militias brought this town to a terrified standstill, the newly arrived commander of the multinational force dispatched by the United Nations pledged today “to reassure and to protect” its people. But he made clear he did not intend to disarm the fighters, many of them children. Speaking to reporters on the airport tarmac here, the commander of the French-led force, Brig. Gen. Jean Paul Thonier, said he would not strip the militias of their guns, venture outside the city or get in the middle of a gun battle. “Separating the factions is not part of my mission,” he said. His spokesman, Gerard DuBois, described the mission as threefold: to protect the population, help aid agencies carry out their work and provide security within Bunia city limits. Full Story

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