UN to investigate allegations of mistreatment by its troops in DR Congo

William Lacy Swing

26 May 2007 – The United Nations Mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) has requested an investigation into the treatment of all militia held by its Ituri Brigade Battalions in February 2005 following allegations of mistreatment.

The request from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Special Representative to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), William Lacy Swing, came in response to a letter of complaint received last month from a former captured combatant of the Front Nationaliste et Intégrationiste militia (FNI) alleging mistreatment while in detention at the Bangladesh Battalion for four days in late February 2005, and demanding compensation.

“Upon instructions from the Mission Force Commander, MONUC Military Police (MP) investigated these allegations and submitted its draft report on 19 May,” the mission said in a news release, stressing that “all allegations of this nature are taken very seriously.”

Mr. Swing asked the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) to conduct an enquiry to ensure that the allegations are thoroughly investigated.

In a separate development, the UN had announced on Wednesday that OIOS is investigating allegations of gold and weapons trafficking by a number of MONUC peacekeepers, also in the Ituri district.

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