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MONUC Re-affirms  Decision to Suspend Logistical Support


The United Nations Mission in Congo (MONUC) says it stands by its decision to withdraw support for government troops accused of human rights abuses.

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The Congolese government has expressed its disagreement with the decision, but has vowed to rid the army of soldiers proved to have committed the alleged violations.

MONUC spokesman Madnodje Mounoubai said that his Mission made the right decision to withdraw support for specific army units.

"What we are doing is completely in line with government policy… the decision is not to withdraw support for the FRDC (Congolese army) as a whole. We are only talking about this 213 brigade and others…that were implicated in grave human rights violations," Mounoubai said.

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But Colette Tshomba, vice minister for foreign affairs and international relations, said Kinshasa has instituted its own investigation into the human rights allegations.

"It's an investigation and it can take time and I don't know the time it will end. Right now I can't give you the date for that," Tshomba said.

Tshomba said President Kabila will keep his word about weeding out soldiers who committed human rights violations.

"There is tolerance zero in the justice (in Congo). We are trying to eradicate impunity," she said.

Meanwhile human rights watch said in a report that Monday that 270 civilians had been deliberately killed since March -- a charge Kinshasa denies.

Both the Congolese official and MONUC spokesman confirm a scheduled meeting Wednesday between government and MONUC representatives.

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