MONUC reinforcing security in eastern DRC

During the weekly MONUC press conference this Thursday 21June 2007, MONUC explained the measures they have taken to assist the Congolese authorities in reinforcing security in the eastern DRC provinces of North and South Kivu.

MONUC military spokesperson Major Gabriel de Brosses said that the situation in North Kivu remains precarious but under control, with the MONUC Indian contingent conducting a total of 609 patrols to increase security.

"At Sirimukoko on June 15, the DRC Armed Forces (FARDC) and the Force for the Democratic Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) fought. Three FDLR combatants were killed and two firearms were recovered. On the same day, the Indian brigade of North Kivu set up a Mobile Operating Base (MOB) at Karurumu," he said.

In addition, 16 ex foreign combatants were repatriated last week in North Kivu.

In South Kivu, the second joint operation between MONUC forces and the FARDC was carried out in the Nindja forest, in order to seek out and pursue FDLR and Rasta forces.

"The MONUC Pakistani Brigade in South Kivu activated a MOB at Nabishaka to increase their capacity to control the Walungu-Chindbu zone. Another MOB was activated in the Nyamerhege zone by a South African Company of blue helmets," Maj. de Brosses explained.

During the last week, MONUC carried out a total of 329 patrols in the province with the aim of assisting the FARDC, and to enhance security for the local population. MONUC naval units also stepped up patrols on Lake Kivu in relation to the illegal traffic of firearms.

Meanwhile in Equateur province, on the night of June 17 2007, there was an explosion at an ammunitions dump in an FARDC camp in Mbandaka, which caused the death of three people, with 52 injured.

The affected zone was inspected by MONUC military observers as well as teams from MAG (Mine Action Group), who transported the remaining non-exploded ordnance out of the camp.

In Gbadolite on June 20, dangerous armaments from a disused munitions factory were destroyed by MAG, while other armaments were transported out of the area, supervised by MONUC military observers.