RealNews

Congo Rushes Defense Chief to East After Deaths

Congo’s government, trying to assert its authority in the volatile east, hurriedly sent its defense minister on his first visit to remote Ituri on Sunday after militiamen killed nine Bangladeshi U.N. peacekeepers. The visit by the minister, Adolphe Onusumba, was also aimed at countering a local belief that the government in faraway Kinshasa lacks both the means and the will to stop six years of militia conflict in Ituri that has cost 50,000 lives. In a sign of continuing tension, 30 suspected militiamen being detained by Bangladeshi U.N. troops at their camp in Bunia made a failed attempt to escape. The Bangladeshi troops shot dead one of the 30 and wounded seven, a spokesman for the U.N. force in Congo said. The 30 men were arrested by MONUC on Thursday at Datule, a village on Lake Albert, on suspicion of taking part in militia attacks on civilians. The U.N. sometimes detains militia fighters suspected of crimes if Congolese jails are full. Full Story

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