He told reporters in the capital, Kinshasa, that the team, sent to Bunia on Monday, had also discussed who would participate in a meeting of the technical preparatory committee for the establishment of the Ituri Pacification Committee.
He said the UPC would not be locked out of the committee. "UPC leader Thomas Lubanga is an actor like any other within the Ituri communities. Consequently, his movement should not be excluded from the efforts for the restoration of peace," Toure said.
MONUC, Toure said, had received a statement from 38 representatives of different communities in the area, saying they "favoured the pacification of Ituri". The area has been the scene of fierce fighting between Ugandan troops and their erstwhile allies, the UPC. The Ugandans drove the UPC out of Bunia on 6 March.
Contrary to reports, Toure said MONUC had never asked Uganda to maintain troops in the town. Uganda's definite withdrawal from Bunia by March, Toure said, was provided for in the agreement signed by the presidents of the DRC and Uganda on 9 and 10 February, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Toure said another MONUC military team would soon fly to Bogoro, 25 km from Bunia, to assess the security situation before "a multidisciplinary team" moved in to assess the impact of the recent clashes in the area.
[This Item is Delivered to the "Africa-English" Service of the UN's IRIN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations. For further information, free subscriptions, or to change your keywords, contact e-mail: Irin@ocha.unon.org or Web: http://www.irinnews.org . If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Reposting by commercial sites requires written IRIN permission.]
Copyright (c) UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs 2003