Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FASHION

Paris, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015.

Read more

REPORTERS

Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

2014-07-11 21:47 AFRICA NEWS

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Politics: parties under pressure

Read more

FOCUS

In Burma, the rise of radical Buddhism

Read more

  • The third-place playoff: the World Cup game no one wants to play

    Read more

  • Hamas and Israel sustain fire despite missed targets

    Read more

  • France’s Kadri wins eighth stage at Tour de France

    Read more

  • Legal challenge to French mayor’s ban of Muslim hijab on beach

    Read more

  • Last of the Ramones, Tommy Ramone, dies aged 62

    Read more

  • Video: Outrage in wake of deadly Casablanca buildings collapse

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces ‘executed prisoners in reprisal’ for ISIS killings

    Read more

  • Ukraine promises retaliation after rebel assault

    Read more

  • Putin revives old Cuban flame and eyes Latin American minerals

    Read more

  • Kerry holds all-night talks with Afghan presidential rivals

    Read more

  • Amazon snubs French free delivery ban with one-cent charge

    Read more

  • Cleveland's NBA fans hail 'return of king' LeBron James

    Read more

  • Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

    Read more

  • Magnitude 6.8 quake, small tsunami hit east Japan

    Read more

  • Suspect in Brussels Jewish Museum shooting drops extradition appeal

    Read more

Ban Ki-moon backs proposed European force for DRC

©

Text by AFP

Latest update : 2008-11-30

UN Secretary General Ban-Ki-moon told Belgium's Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht that he supported the idea of an interim EU peacekeeping mission until the extra 3,000 troops agreed to for the UN's MONUC force are dispatched.

(AFP) - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is in favour of sending an interim European force to Democratic Republic of Congo until peacekeeping reinforcements, Belgium's foreign minister said Sunday.
   
The UN Security Council has approved an additional 3,000 peacekeepers for the Congo mission, but the deployment "is going to take some time," Karel De Gucht told Belgium's VRT television.
   
"For that reason, the United Nations hopes that an European military force could come and fill in the gap during this period," De Gucht said.
   
His spokesman Bart Ouvry told AFP that Ban had talked about an interim European force during De Gucht's discussions with him this week at UN headquarters in New York.
   
The UN secretary general explained that help was needed to ease the humanitarian crisis caused by the fighting between rebels and Congolese government forces in eastern Nord-Kivu province.
   
"The reinforcement of 3,000 soldiers is going to take several months, and in the interval Mr Ban Ki-moon thinks that an European interim force would be needed," if it could be deployed, Ouvry said.
   
He added, however, that Belgium would have to see how many European countries would be willing to contribute troops to such a force.
   
The question is expected to be taken up at ministerial talks next week at NATO headquarters in Brussels, as well as at an Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) meeting in Helsinki.
   
Last month Belgium and France proposed sending troops to Nord-Kivu province, the central battleground of the conflict, to support the humanitarian efforts of the UN Mission in Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC).
   
Belgium was the colonial power in Congo before its independence in June 1960, while France -- which holds the rotating EU presidency, and which put the resolution for more MONUC troops before the Security Council -- has a long-standing interest in central Africa.
   
But several EU member states, including Germany, are not in favour of military support -- preferring to back humanitarian organisations and political mediation.
   
Long simmering tensions between the Kinshasa government and rebels led by Tutsi ex-general Laurent Nkunda spilled over into a new conflict in August, displacing 250,000 people and creating a humanitarian disaster.
   
Calls for an EU force to help protect civilians in eastern Congo have also come from a group of former world leaders.
   
In an open letter Thursday, the group, including Nobel Peace Prize winners Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former South African president F. W. de Klerk, urged EU leaders to use their "personal political leadership" to help ease the crisis.
   
"The situation in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo is a clear humanitarian catastrophe," they wrote, noting that "the peacekeeping force on the ground is currently unable to protect the hundreds of thousands of civilians at risk."
   

Date created : 2008-11-30

Comments

COMMENT(S)