Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

French education: Reinventing the idea of school

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

Frogs legs and brains? The French food hard to stomach

Read more

#TECH 24

Station F: Putting Paris on the global tech map

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Davos 2017: 'I believe in the power of entrepreneurs to change the world'

Read more

#THE 51%

Equality in the boardroom: French law requires large firms to have 40% women on boards

Read more

FASHION

Men's fashion: Winter 2017/2018 collections shake up gender barriers

Read more

ENCORE!

Turkish writer Aslı Erdoğan speaks out about her time behind bars

Read more

REVISITED

Video: Threat of economic crisis still looms in Zimbabwe

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

DAVOS 2017: Has the bubble burst?

Read more

UN force too weak to resist rebels, Kenyan minister says

Video by Arnaud ZAJTMAN , Marlène RABAUD , Gulliver CRAGG

Text by AFP

Latest update : 2008-11-09

Speaking a day after his country hosted a summit aimed at stemming the crisis in the DRC, Kenyan Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula criticized a weak UN mandate that does not allow peacekeepers to engage in active clashes with rebels.

Kenyan Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula Saturday lamented the weakness of UN peacekeepers in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in the face of a rebel assault.
   
Wetangula spoke a day after a regional summit in Nairobi called for a ceasefire, but fighting raged in the region amid new claims that Angolan soldiers have joined the battle, bolstering Congolese government troops.
   
"What is the point of having 17,000 troops who cannot fire, who cannot disarm, who just walk around with blue helmets," Wetangula told a press conference here, referring to the UN mission in Congo (MONUC) peacekeepers.
   
Wetangula said Friday's summit was informed that the UN peacekeepers' mandate would not change to allow them to engage in active clashes in eastern DR Congo, where pro-government troops are battling rebels of the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) led by renegade Tutsi general Laurent Nkunda.
   
The Kinshasa government also accuses Rwanda of backing the rebels, a charge Rwandan President Paul Kagame has denied.
   
"I don't think any president who attended the meeting (Friday) was on trial. The meeting was on Congo, it was not going to be mixed and coloured up with the Rwanda issue," Wetangula added.
   
On Saturday, the head of the MONUC, Alan Doss, accused Nkunda's rebels and pro-government militia of committing war crimes earlier this week by killing civilians in the town of Kiwanja, near Rutshuru, about 80 kilometres (50 miles) north of the Nord-Kivu provincial capital, Goma.
   
The UN and humanitarian aid groups said the latest round of fighting had displaced 253,000 civilians since September -- and left at least 100 dead.
   
Goma, a city of 500,000 inhabitants, remains in government hands, with nearly 1,000 UN peacekeepers on its streets.
   
Kenyan officials said the UN special envoy on the DR Congo crisis, Nigeria's former president Olusegun Obasanjo, is expected to travel to the troubled country late next week to meet the warring sides.
   
Obasanjo is expected to separately meet Congolese President Joseph Kabila and Nkunda in a bid to breathe life into stalled talks aimed at implementing previous peace accords. Kabila's regime has refused to meet the rebels.
   
Kenya chairs a regional initiative, which organised the summit, tasked with restoring peace in the Great Lakes region.

Date created : 2008-11-09

COMMENT(S)