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 UK troops may be deployed to Congo

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lodgebo

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PostSubject: UK troops may be deployed to Congo   Mon Nov 03, 2008 4:04 pm

David Miliband has refused to rule out sending British troops to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The prospect of a humanitarian disaster in the war-torn central African country has led to speculation that already-stretched UK forces could become caught up in another overseas entanglement.
Asked if he was planning to send British troops to Congo, the Foreign Secretary said: "We have not ruled anything out. It is possible. It is right to see this through the UN perspective."
The head of the 17,000-strong UN peacekeeping force - the organisation's biggest-ever mission - has arrived in Congo to assess the security situation.
Mr Miliband has left the country after a two-day visit and will join fellow European foreign ministers for talks in Marseilles amid calls from Oxfam for them to send EU forces to the area.
Some 250,000 people are thought to have fled their homes in recent weeks since the breakdown of a UN-brokered ceasefire in the region.
Mr Miliband said it is vital to secure aid supplies from being plundered by rebel groups - tens of millions of pounds of which is being sent by the UK.
Meanwhile, aid workers in east Congo are trying to locate and help tens of thousands of people displaced by fighting after they found refugee camps empty in a rebel zone.
The humanitarian workers travelled with an aid convoy, escorted by UN peacekeepers, to the eastern town of Rutshuru, captured by advancing Tutsi rebels last week in Democratic Republic of Congo's North Kivu province.
Camps previously run in the Rutshuru area by the UN refugee agency UNHCR had housed at least 50,000 people, but were found levelled and deserted when the aid convoy arrived.
"All the camps are empty. They have all left. All the shelters have been destroyed ... nothing remains," said Francis Nakwafio Kasai, a field officer with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Last week's rebel offensive by fighters loyal to renegade Congolese Tutsi General Laurent Nkunda ended with the declaration of a ceasefire after the insurgents reached the outskirts of the North Kivu provincial capital Goma.
Aid agencies have called the humanitarian situation triggered by the recent fighting "catastrophic" and said tens of thousands of civilians are roaming the hilly countryside unprotected, in need of shelter, food, water and medical care.
Mr Kasai, who spoke at Kasasa camp near Ruthsuru, 45 miles north of Goma, said humanitarian workers were trying to establish whether the camps' occupants were forced out, or had fled. Some may have sought safer areas, or returned home.
Civilians were seeking safety after fleeing attacks by Nkunda's fighters and killings, looting and rapes which the UN says were committed by retreating Congolese army soldiers.
The current conflict in the Congo has its roots in the genocide 14 years ago in neighbouring Rwanda where up to a million people were killed when Hutu extremists turned on their Tutsi neighbours.
Nkunda says he wants to protect his Tutsi community from Rwandan Hutus who fled to the Congo after carrying out the genocide of 1994.
But his own forces - which are now massed on the outskirts of the regional capital Goma, after Congolese government troops fled - have a reputation for murder, rape and looting.

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/4/20081103/twl-british-troops-in-congo-possible-41f21e0.html
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lodgebo

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PostSubject: Re: UK troops may be deployed to Congo   Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:03 pm

While this may be an unpopular comment I think that the situation in Congo represents the hoplessness of some African countries and the over reliance they have on the west.

Since the 1960's every decade has seen a major war civil or cross border in Africa which ha led to millions being displaced and hundred of thousands dying, this war will be no different. However the other issue is the relaince they have on the west. The government in Congo doesnt have to worry about the helplessness of the refugees why? because they know the EU and UN will show up soon enough as they have today, they dont have to worry about securing ccities and major installations why? because British and French troops will have to risk thier lives to do it and both sides can tear a trail of destruction through Congo and not care why? because we will pay to rebuild the country.

While I feel for the Refugees I just wonder if there is a wisdom from other African countries in staying well clear of these situations don't get me wrong I wouldnt recommend sitting back and condoning a massacre and if it came to having to go in there and fight ( and we did it in the 90s) we should do that but we cannot expect to send in troops every 7 - 10 years and act like strict parents scolding naughty children.

Maybe if the governments and armies of these countries knew that the West wasnt going to ride in and save them at every incident they might actually act like a government and defend ther country while finding a way to settle the problems a tougher stance on weapons, border crossing and a less corrupt system of government would go a long way as well.
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gaboman

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PostSubject: Re: UK troops may be deployed to Congo   Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:24 pm

Reports of looting, rapes as Congo peace fades

(CNN) -- Congolese soldiers looted villages, reportedly raping women and ransacking homes, late Monday and early Tuesday, U.N. officials said, as the prospect of a sustained ceasefire between government troops and rebel soldiers continued to fade.

The looting came before a nearly hour-long, nighttime gun battle north of the provincial capital of Goma that represented some of the most intense fighting since Rebel leader Gen. Laurent Nkunda declared a unilateral ceasefire on October 29.

Since then, both sides have accused the other of violating the ceasefire in smaller skirmishes that both the U.N. and Democratic Republic of Congo officials say have killed hundreds of people, including civilians.

U.N. spokesman Col. Jean-Paul Dietrich, speaking from Kinshasa, told CNN that Congolese troops began looting the village of Kanyabayonga, about 60 miles (100 km) north of Goma, late Monday.

"They were shooting in the air; they were shooting in houses," Dietrich said. He said U.N. officials received radio reports from local authorities saying the soldiers were also raping women in the village.

He said several hundred soldiers continued looting in villages further north.

Fighting broke out in eastern Congo at the end of August between government forces and rebels led by Nkunda. The fighting is spurred by lingering tensions over the 1994 slaughter of ethnic Tutsis by majority Hutus in neighboring Rwanda. Nkunda says his forces are fighting to defend Congolese Tutsis from Hutu militants who escaped to Congo.

The fighting has worsened an already difficult humanitarian situation. More than 250,000 people have been displaced by the conflict -- adding to roughly 800,000 already driven from their homes by past violence, the U.N. says.

The gun battle late Tuesday was in Kibati, about six miles (10 km) north of Goma.

Dietrich said the cause of the fight was unknown, but was touched off in an area where rebel and government fighters had been camped close to each other.

"We were putting some pressure on them over the last few days that they should withdraw," he said. "There are high tensions -- one small incident can trigger major fighting between the forces."

The U.N. Children's Fund said 29 tons of emergency aid arrived in Goma on Sunday.

"These supplies will contain the spread of cholera and diarrhea, both extremely contagious diseases on the rise in nearly all internally displaced person settlements in North Kivu," said Pierrette Vu Thi, the agency's representative in Congo.

The United Nations also is shipping food, medicine, fresh water and other supplies into camps throughout Congo daily.
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There are about 17,000 U.N. troops in Congo. On Tuesday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for an immediate ceasefire, saying as many as 100,000 refugees north of Goma have been cut off from relief workers.

Ban said he has requested the U.N. Security Council to authorize an additional 3,000 troops to help control the fighting.

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PostSubject: Re: UK troops may be deployed to Congo   Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:50 pm

Lodgebo, I gotta agree with you. I like Karl Pilkington's comments on the issue. Basically it's like giving a pound to a kid who you know is just going to waste it down at the arcade and come back begging for more later on.

We need to force militant governments to make changes allowing for the security of the general public. I'm not an expert on African politics by a long shot, but from what I've seen from different countries in the region over the years... there's a kind of kill or be killed mentality by some people.

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HECK!

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PostSubject: Re: UK troops may be deployed to Congo   Wed Nov 12, 2008 4:08 am

Not one report on this in the States. First I heard of it. And I do check the news often.

-HECK!

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Schmiggens

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PostSubject: Re: UK troops may be deployed to Congo   Wed Nov 12, 2008 6:39 am

And where is my b/f getting sent for work .....





The Congo!!!! Wooh!! Fun times ahead.
It's only for a week and the security around the mine site he's going to is pretty tight, but still .... I'm freaking out a little more since this news report came out.
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