31 January 2009 The top United Nations official to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) stressed today that the world body is only involved in planning and coordinating the joint DRC/Rwanda military offensive targeting ethnic Rwandan Hutu militias.
The UN peacekeeping mission in DRC, known as MONUC, will set up a planning an liaison task force to support the operation aimed at defeating the Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Rwanda (FDLR), based in eastern DRC.
“We expect to be primarily associated with planning operations,” said the Secretary-General's Special Representative in DRC, Alan Doss.
Following a request from the DRC Minister of Defence earlier in the week, Mr. Doss has put in place a MONUC team to work with the joint DRC/Rwanda operation in Goma, the capital of the eastern North Kivu province.
The goal for the group of six to eight staff military officers sent to assist with the operation is to boost the presence and gradual inclusion of UN civilian staff in planning the operation, as well as work on issues such as humanitarian coordination and the demobilization of former Congolese or ethnic Rwandan Hutu fighters.
MONUC also underscored that it will not participate in any transaction in which Bosco Ntanganda, the leader of the mainly Tutsi National Congress in Defense of the People (CNDP) militia, will play a role at any level.
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