News Analysis: UN mission in DR Congo says no more logistical support
KINSHASA, Nov 13, 2009 -- The UN mission in the Democratic Republic of
Congo (DRC) has pledged no more suspensions of logistical support after
putting on halt the backing to a Congolese army unit for involvement in
"It will not be a good sign to increase logistical support suspensions from
MONUC to FARDC," the commandant of the Force of UN mission in Congo
(MONUC), general Babacar Gaye, declared on Wednesday in Kinshasa during the
weekly press briefing.
General Gaye made this pronouncement in reaction to a number of Congolese
commentaries, particularly from certain officials of the Democratic
Republic of Congo's armed forces (FARDC) following the suspension of
logistical support by MONUC to the 213th brigade of the FARDC, which is
based in Lukweti, North Kivu province.
General Gaye pointed out that this suspension had a symbolic value.
"I think that if we increase the suspensions of support to the FARDC, it
will not paint a good picture. That will mean ... a signal of policy.
Therefore, we shall continue to work in partnership with the FARDC," Gaye
He said the decision to suspend the logistical support to the 213th FARDC
brigade "was not taken by Alan Doss, the special representative of the UN
secretary general to the DRC.
"We are supposed to help the FARDC and as we work with the FARDC, we must
always make them conform to the conditions under which this aid is given by
100 percent. We are not guided by a repressive attitude," general Gaye
During his visit to the DRC on Nov. 2, the UN's deputy secretary general in
charge of peace keeping missions, Alain Le Roy, announced the suspension of
logistical support from MONUC soldiers to the 213th brigade of the FARDC
based at Lukweti.
The UN official linked the soldiers of this brigade to the massacres of at
least 62 civilians between May and September in their region, citing
preliminary reports of an inquiry thrown by the MONUC office in charge of
INSECURITY IN ITURI
Elsewhere, general Gaye acknowledged during this press conference that
there was increased insecurity in the district of Ituri in Orientale
province, in reference to the recent assassination of a priest in
He condemned the attacks as banditry acts perpetrated against civilians in
the past weeks in this district, calling for combined efforts to defeat
insurgency in Ituri to salvage the peace achievements accomplished in the
district over the past five years.
He appealed "to everybody to come to the aid of Ituri," while asking the
Congolese judicial authorities to punish perpetrators of insecurity."
TRACKING DOWN FDLR
On the fight against the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda in
the DRC, Gaye said close to 35 percent of its combatants have been
neutralized since the launch of the operation to hunt them down in
He noted the FDLR strongholds were destroyed and that what was required was
a new approach to combat the remaining pockets of these rebels who attack
civilians and then escape.
To this end, he suggested that the zones being affected by the FDLR be
occupied by the FARDC to force the rebels into inhospitable areas.
"The operations of MONUC alongside FARDC in North Kivu and South Kivu
provinces and also Orientale province has recorded considerable
achievements," Gaye declared.
Currently, MONUC supplies daily food rations to 27,000 FARDC soldiers
engaged in three operations including Rudia II, Ironestone and Kimia II.
The support costs an average 837,000 U. S. dollars every month.
In provinces of North Kivu and South Kivu, MONUC feeds 16,000 FARDC
soldiers, spending a monthly 496,000 dollars.
Besides that, MONUC supplies the Congolese army with 37,000 litres of
petrol per month, MONUC sources indicated.
By GEMA and Shu Shi