DR Congo

Australian gov't donates extra 4 mln Australian dollars to Congo

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CANBERRA, Nov 13, 2008 (Xinhua via COMTEX News Network) -- Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said here on Thursday his government had committed an additional 4 million Australian dollars (2.6 million U.S. dollars) for humanitarian aid to help the displaced people in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Smith told the parliament that the Australian government was deeply concerned about violence in the war-torn African country and the targeted violence against civilians.

But he ruled out of sending troops to Congo, saying "it is not, in the government's view, appropriate to make a military or a peacekeeping contribution in terms of boots on the ground".

Instead, Australia will donate another 4 million dollars in aid, making the total aid to Congo up to 5 million dollars (3.3 million U.S. dollars).

According to Smith, of the 4 million dollars announced today, 3 million dollars will go to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, UNICEF and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The other will go to Australian non-government organizations who have a presence in Africa.

At least 250,000 people have been displaced in Congo by recent unrest.