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UN: North Korea Provided Firearms to Congolese Police


FILE - U.N. peacekeepers and members of the Congolese army in Mavivi, near Beni, North Kivu province, Oct. 22, 2014. Thirty North Korean military instructors may have violated U.N. sanctions by providing pistols to Congolese army and police officers, the United Nations said in a new report.

A group of 30 North Korean military instructors may have violated United Nations sanctions when they provided pistols to Congolese army and police officers during training exercises, the United Nations said in a new report.

A panel of experts said pistols were issued to members of the army and national police in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and some eventually ended up in the hands of Congolese peacekeepers working with the U.N. mission.

According to Congolese soldiers and police, the pistols were issued during a training program in 2014 for the Congolese presidential guard in Kinshasa, the DRC capital. This is seen as a violation of U.N. sanctions that ban North Korea from selling weapons or providing military training.

Some of those pistols appear to have made their way onto the streets of Kinshasa. The group said “the same type of pistol was available for sale on the black market” in the capital.

Military tactic training

Also mentioned in the report, which several media saw Friday, the experts said Rwanda continues to train Burundian refugees in military tactics, with the ultimate goal of overthrowing Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza.

According to the report, the U.N. experts met with Rwandans who said they had trained Burundian fighters or traveled themselves to Congo to fight with the Burundian opposition.

“Similar outside support continued through 2016,” the report said. “This took the form of training, financing, and logistical support for Burundian combatants crossing from Rwanda” to Congo.

The Rwandan government, however, “denied any involvement” in the training or recruitment of Burundian refugees, the report said.