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U.N. Calls on Congo, Burundi Neighbors

The head of a U.N. Security Council mission urged the neighbors of Congo and Burundi on Sunday to cooperate with the United Nations in ending the violence and civil conflict that has destabilized much of central Africa. “It is for the countries of the sub-region to find a way of building confidence among themselves,” Jean-Marc de la Sabliere, France’s U.N. ambassador, said at the end of the week-long mission. “The Security Council can help, but it cannot do the job.” On May 30, the council authorized the deployment of a French-led emergency force of 1,400 to Bunia, a town in northeastern Congo where fighting among tribal militias killed more than 400 civilians. The new force will have a shoot-to-kill mandate, tougher than a contingent of U.N. troops in the city, which has no mandate to protect civilians or intervene to stop fighting. De la Sabliere said the Security Council mission would stress that no impunity should be given to those responsible for human rights violations and related crimes in eastern Congo. “What we have seen on the ground shocked us,” de la Sabliere said about a stop in Bunia. Full Story

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