Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire)
November 16, 2005: In the northeast, a thousand soldiers and 300
peacekeepers attacked the Revolutionary Movement of Congo, a militia that has
refused to disarm. At least 19 militiamen, and one soldier, were killed in the
fighting. The government believes that it has reduced the number of rebel
militiamen in the northeast from 5,000 to 1,000 in the past six months.
November 13, 2005: The UN reported that judicial proceedings against militia
leaders is starting to pay off. In the last several months UN peacekeepers and
Congo soldiers have arrested many militia members for criminal activity and
failure to turn in weapons. Trials of senior militia leaders began in October
and several have been convicted. The UN estimates that fighting in Ituri
province has killed at least 60,000 people. Militias and tribal fighting were
responsible for the deaths. Jailing leaders alone won't end the militia threat.
The UN is using a multi-million dollar development grant to build and improve
roads in Ituri. Militiamen who turned in their weapons to peacekeepers (as part
of the "weapons exchange" program) and continue to cooperate with the
Congo government are being offered jobs on the roads. The Congo government also
reported that the Mongbwalu gold mine, which was controlled by the "Kung
Fu and Dragon" militia, is now under government control.
November 12, 2005: Uganda still believes some LRA are hiding in
the Congo. In late September Uganda said it would send troops into the Congo to
fight the LRA rebels if the Congo did not take action against them. The UN
patrols serve a a "political buffer" to keep Ugandan troops on their
own side of the border.
November 10, 2005: UN peacekeepers and Congo troops announced that
they were completing a large anti-militia operation in North Kivu province
against Rwandan Hutu rebels and a Congolese militia. 2000 Congolese troops and
500 UN troops participated in the operation. The operation was supported by
helicopter gunships and light armored vehicles. Part of the operation went
through the Viruga National Park area. The UN reported its troops destroyed
several rebel camps inside the park. The operation captured 359 Mai-Mai militia
men and 17 Rwandan Hutu rebels. The Rwandan's belonged to the Democratic Forces
for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a militia organization which has refused
to turn in its weapons.
UN observers deployed in the northeastern Congo (near the Garamba National
Park), and found "no tangible evidence" that Ugandan LRA rebels are
inside the Congo. One of the main UN military units in the area is a 144-man
Nepalese infantry unit deployed near the town of Aba. The UN believes the LRA
group moved into Sudan around November 1, but its troops will continue to
monitor the area. The Nepalese unit has sent patrols north to the Congo
villages of Mamuru and Banga, which are near the Congo-Sudan border.
November 2, 2005: Soldiers freed four election
workers who were being held captive by Mai-Mai militiamen. A gun battle left
several dozen of the militiamen dead.