Congo: May 26, 2005

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A group of Rwandan rebels,   known as "The Rastas," killed 18 people in the eastern Congo and took over 50 hostages.  This militia group has been accused of committing numerous crimes in South Kivu province. The Rastas are allied with the FDLR Rwandan Hutu rebel organization. One source said the UN and Congolese army are planning an operation in South Kivu with the aim of disarming militias operating in the area. 

Meanwhile, the South African government extended its troop commitment in the Congo. South African troops will continue to serve with UN forces at least through March 2007. The South Africans have manned the UN's quick reaction force in the eastern Congo and are considered to be critical to UN counter-militia operations in the region.

 

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