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EU Ministers Discuss Force to Help Safeguard Congo Elections

European Union defense ministers are meeting in Innsbruck, Austria Monday to try to bolster support for an EU military peacekeeping force in Democratic Republic of Congo.

The strife-torn African nation is preparing for its first free elections since it gained independence from Belgium in 1961.

The United Nations has asked for a few hundred European troops to add to the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Congo. Several European countries support the idea. but have been reluctant to commit troops without specific guidelines for their use.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters, AFP and AP.