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Congo Official: DRC Will Not Accept UN ‘Neo-colonization’

FILE - DRC Communication minister and government spokesman Lambert Mende.

An official of the Democratic Republic of Congo (D.R.C.) said the country of independence leader Patrice Lumumba will resist by all means necessary any attempt to be recolonized.

Information Minister Lambert Mende was reacting to what he called a demand by the U.N. peacekeeping mission in the Congo, known as MONUSCO, that the country sack two generals accused of human rights abuses as a condition for joining the fight against the FDLR Hutu rebels.

Lumumba, the first democratically-elected prime minister, was assassinated in 1961 after his government was overthrown during attempts to quell Katanga secessionists.

Last week, the U.N. Security Council voted to cut 2,000 troops from the MONUSCO force.

Mende said D.R.C. would have preferred a speedier, larger troop reduction.

“The government has taken notice of that reduction and has accepted it, though the government would have preferred that things be made more quickly because we as a country need really our own determination,” he said.

Meanwhile, Lambert said the Congolese army continues its offensive against the FDLR Hutu rebels in the east of the country because he said the government does not want to depend on any foreign force to care for its security.

President Joseph Kabila had said he wants a speedy cut of some 6,000 MONUSCO troops and a clear commitment to shut down the entire U.N. peacekeeping operation.

Mende said only the Congolese government knows the level of the danger it is facing from what he calls an aggression from foreign forces.

“We don’t understand why others are thinking that they are more informed than us on our own needs. We are adults and we know exactly what we need,” Mende said.

Mende said Congo rejects categorically MONUSCO’s demand that the country sack two of its generals accused of human rights abuses as a condition for joining the fight against the FDLR Hutu rebels.

“When we asked that MONUSCO should come, we refused that any practice transforms the assistance to a kind of new colonization of Congo by the UN. This is not what was given by the resolution. So, nobody should come here within the bureaucracy of the UN to transform our country into a colony,” Mende said.

He said the DRC will cease to be an independent country if it allows the UN to appoint Congolese army officers. Mende said Patrice Lumumba would never accept such arrangement.

“We are the country of Lumumba. Don’t forget, because Lumumba was killed while trying to gain respect from brothers and sisters all over the world and we know who in the 60’s decided to kill him because they wanted to maintain us under what we call neo-colonization,” Mende said.

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