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The US said yesterday it fully supports France in its efforts to
create a multinational force under the United Nations to restore
security in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) but will
not send US troops.
State Department spokesperson Richard Boucher said Washington would
vote in favor of a French-sponsored resolution creating the force
for the Ituri region of the DRC when it comes before the UN
Security Council today.
"We support the resolution," he told reporters, adding that the
speedy deployment of the force was essential to peace efforts in
Ituri, where violence has worsened in recent weeks, and the entire
"We think the rapid deployment of such a force is critical to
stabilising the region, and in so doing, allowing the ongoing
political process to move forward," Boucher said.
He said the US would consider any requests from the UN force for
logistical or financial support, but that Washington did not
envision sending US troops to take part in it.
France said on Wednesday that it would lead the multi-national
force in Ituri where guerrillas and government troops are faced off
in the powder keg town of Bunia where more than 50 000 people have
been killed and some half a million displaced since 1999.
The DRC war broke out in August 1998, and at its height drew in
more than half a dozen African countries. The conflict has claimed
some 2,5-million lives directly or indirectly through disease or
The United Nations already has a military mission in DRC, known by
its acronym Monuc, but it has only about 700 troops in Bunia and
diplomats say the mission's mandate and manpower is not up to
containing the violence. - Sapa-AFP.
Edited by: laurian clemence
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