National
UN to boost troops in DR Congo's Katanga region
Publish Date: Feb 23, 2014
UN to boost troops in DR Congo's Katanga region
  • mail
  • img
newvision

KINSHASA - The United Nations has it will send more peacekeeping troops to the Katanga region of the Democratic Republic of Congo after a surge in attacks by local militias caused a critical humanitarian crisis.

The UN mission in the country (MONUSCO) "has decided to deploy special forces at Pweto to protect Katanga's population", MONUSCO chief Martin Kobler said on Twitter.

No decision has been made on the exact size of the reinforcement, but a date for the deployment should be announced shortly, MONUSCO's military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Prosper Basse told AFP.

Moustapha Soumare, the UN's humanitarian coordinator in DR Congo, called the situation in mineral-rich Katanga "critical".

"We must step up our humanitarian response if we want to save the province from a general crisis," he said in a statement.

Katanga's impoverished area around Manono, Mitwaba and Pweto, in the north of the province, is widely known as the "triangle of death". The rampant violence is mainly attributed to the Mai Mai rebel group which fights for a better distribution between the north and south of the wealth stemming from the province's immense natural resources.

Bakata Katanga rebels, who claim to fight for independence, launched brazen attacks that left dozens of people dead in Lubumbashi in March and November 2013.

Since September 2013 Mai Mai rebels have also burnt down more than 60 villages in attacks on Manono, Mitwaba and Pweto, a statement issued by the UN's OCHA humanitarian affairs office said Tuesday.

In Pweto alone about 60,000 people have been accommodated after fleeing their homes because of the violence, according to the UN.

The figure for all of Katanga is 402,000 displaced people, compared with 51,000 in 2011.

Katanga, which at almost half a million square kilometres (190,000 square miles) is about the size of Spain, is believed to hold around a third of the world's cobalt and 10 percent of its copper reserves.

Its capital Lubumbashi is DR Congo's second largest city and the province has been plagued by secessionist violence since the country's independence from Belgium in 1960.

AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Mengo to build five more vocational institutes
The Minister of Education in the Buganda government Dr. Twaha Kaawaase has revealed that the Kingdom has embarked on a move to set up vocational institutions to promote technical education around the region...
Screening of Ebola vaccine candidates starts in Kampala
Makerere University Walter Reed Project has started screening candidates for the trial of an experimental vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus in Uganda....
Old Taxi Park drivers welcome renovation plans
It is barely a week since KCCA demolished all kiosks (small shops) within and outside the Old Taxi Park to pave way for renovations....
Makerere University staff withdraw court case over retirement benefits
The staff had taken the university to court over unpaid arrears, saying the university was showing little commitment to clear the monies....
Frustrated Ugandan attempts suicide in Dubai
A Ugandan man attempts to commit suicide in the middle of a busy Dubai street in the UAE, but only breaks his legs....
Museveni commissions sh5.8b technical institute
President Yoweri Museveni has commissioned a sh5.8b technical institute in Kamuli district....
Will a ban on Waragi sold in sachets reduce consumption of Alcohol?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter