“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Martin Luther King, Jr

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Congolese Troops Shut Out UN Peacekeepers

Congolese troops shut out UN peacekeepers, aid groups and media Wednesday from witnessing a joint operation with Rwandan troops to hunt down a Rwandan Hutu militia.
Up to 4,000 Rwandan soldiers have entered eastern Democratic Republic of Congo since early Tuesday, the UN Mission in DR Congo (MONUC) said.

The head of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) rebels, Ignace Murwanashyaka, said “these soldiers are not here for a stroll. They are here for war” and warned they would, “defend ourselves if attacked. “We have not been attacked, but that could change at any moment.”
The government of President Joseph Kabila has come under fire for not informing parliament about the invitation to Rwandan troops.
"If what I'm told is true, it's quite simply grave. It raises lots of questions," parliament speaker Vital Kamerhe told the UN-run Radio Okapi.

A convoy carrying Indian UN peacekeepers was turned away at a roadblock near Kibumba, at the southern edge of the zone, and headed back to their base in Goma, an AFP correspondent reported.
A Red Cross vehicle was also prevented from reaching the area.
The move drew protests from MONUC, which said lack of access would hamper its mandate to protect civilians in the joint-operation zone.

The United Nations Children's Fund, UNICEF, warned the operation could lead to a "massive population displacement" of up to 350,000 people in Nord-Kivu in the first phase of the operation.
It said humanitarian aid to approximately one million people "will be suspended or hampered by the lack of access".
UNICEF also cautioned that the FDLR's reaction "might entail exactions on the populations and social structures and looting."
"The impact the fighting may have on the estimated 600,000 people living in rebel-controlled areas is deeply concerning," said Juliette Prodhan, head of Oxfam in the country, where 250,000 people fled their homes in fighting three months ago, amid killing and raping of civilians, and looting.

Consider giving to these charities involved in helping the civilians caught in the middle of this war.

Red Cross-Africa

No comments:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin