DR Congo + 1 more

DRC-Tanzania: MONUC now channelling supplies through Dar es Salaam

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DAR ES SALAAM, 18 March (IRIN) - In a bid to reduce costs and increase efficiency, the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC) is now using Tanzania as the staging post for transporting supplies to its peacekeepers in the east of the DRC, according to MONUC officials.
"The decision has paid off and we are now finding it much easier," Sandro Calavalle, MONUC's movement coordinator, told IRIN in the Tanzanian commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, on Monday.

"As we are running a military operation, there is a time factor, and our people need to get equipment on time," he added.

Previously, MONUC had been transporting its supplies across the Congo from west to east. Now, Calavalle said, supplies and equipment were being flown from Dar es Salaam directly to the Congo, or to Kigoma, in northwestern Tanzania, but the mission was working on more efficient options.

"We need to secure Lake Tanganyika, and then we will be able to ship equipment overland to Kigoma, and then onwards to DRC across the lake," he said.

He added that introducing a patrol boat to protect the supplies from piracy would reinforce security on the lake.

Calavalle said that heavy engineering equipment was being airlifted out of Dar es Salaam, but supply deliveries would be carried out "as and when" the MONUC force - which is due to be increased from 5,000 to 8,000 personnel - required it.

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