News / Africa

UN Brigade in DRC Not Magic Solution, Says Commander

Nick Long
The commander of the United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo says the U.N.'s new intervention brigade in Congo is not a magic solution to the country's problems.  He says his priority is to stop atrocities, wherever they are happening in the east of the country. 

Brazilian Lieutenant-General Carlos Alberto Dos Santos Cruz took over as force commander of MONUSCO, the U.N. mission in Congo, in May.  His previous mission was as U.N. force commander in Haiti, where he took on criminal gangs.

The general’s arrival coincides with deployment of a 3,000-strong U.N. intervention brigade in eastern Congo, tasked with carrying out offensive operations to neutralize armed groups.  It’s the first time a contingent within a peacekeeping mission has been given such a mandate.

Unstable East

But eastern Congo has a myriad of militia and rebel groups that have kept eastern Congo unstable for years, and on Monday General Cruz warned against unrealistic expectations.

"It’s very important to know that the intervention brigade is one more tool in the mission in order to bring peace to this region.  But we need to be very realistic because it is not the magic solution to all the problems.  Everyone knows we need to have a political solution," he said.

The DRC government has a delegation at peace talks in Uganda with the rebel group M23, and this week there have been some reports of progress at the talks.

General Cruz said the mission would keep a close eye on the talks and would harmonize military action on the ground with the political conversation there.

He said neither M23 nor any other armed group is a priority target for the intervention brigade.

"Actually we don’t have priorities," he said. "If you have an armed group committing atrocities in Katanga or South Kivu or Ituri, for us it’s the priority because our main goal is to stop violence against the population."

Katanga, South Kivu and Ituri are three areas where M23 is not present.

On Saturday, MONUSCO troops opened fire on an armed group close to a U.N. checkpoint between the M23 and the Congolese army north of Goma.

MONUSCO says its troops at the checkpoint came under fire from unidentified combatants, believed to be from a Congolese Mai-Mai militia, who had attacked an M23 position.

The U.N. peacekeepers fired warning shots, and in an exchange of fire that followed, one of the combatants was killed, two were wounded and a child soldier was captured.

General Cruz said his men had followed their rules of engagement and their reaction was legal.

You May Like

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid