Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire)
December 26, 2007: The poor showing of
the Congolese Army in eastern Congo (specifically north and South Kivu
provinces) has led to a new round of criticism directed at the UN and MONUC (UN
Mission in the Congo). MONUC's various training programs for the Congolese Army
(or FARDC, Armed Forces of the Democratic
Republic of Congo) have not produced reliable security forces. While on
occasion Congolese soldiers conduct successful field operations, for the most
part they are only able to guard local installations. Often the Congolese
troops run at the first sign of attack. When fighting Laurent Nkunda's FDLR
(Democratic Front for the Liberation of Rwanda), which seems to have a rather
high morel, the Congolese units must be backed up by UN troops.
December 22, 2007: The UN Security
Council extended MONUC's mandate until December 31, 2008. The vote was unanimous.
At the moment the UN has approximately 18,000 soldiers in the Congo.
December 21, 2007: UN forces have taken
the town of Sake in the eastern Congo. Sake has been the site of a series of
comparatively large-scale firefights between the FDLR and Congolese forces
since the first week of December.
December 16, 2007: Congo and Uganda
ended diplomatic discussions over border demarcation in the Lake Albert region.
The talks were spurred by a series of confrontations in August and September
2007 that involved Congolese and Ugandan military forces. The dispute involves
oil exploration rights.