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EU to insert experts into national defence

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NAIROBI, 3 May 2005 (IRIN) - The European Union (EU) announced on Monday it would be assigning EU military and security advisers to posts within various key security sections of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)'s administration, including the private office of the minister of defence.

"Code-named EUSEC RD CONGO, the mission will provide advice and assistance for security sector reform in the DRC with the aim of contributing to a successful integration of the Congolese army," the Council of EU said in a statement.

EUSEC will comprise of eight EU advisers assigned to posts in the DRC's new integrated military structure, the army general staff, the National Committee for Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration, the Joint Operational Committee and the Ministry of Defence.

With a budget of 1.6 million (US $2.1 million), the mission will be headed by French Gen Pierre Joana and is expected to start functioning in May, the EU said.

The advisers will ensure "the promotion of policies that are compatible with human rights and international humanitarian law, democratic standards, principles of good public management, transparency and observance of the rule of law", the EU said.

The EU launched another mission on Saturday code-named EUPOL KINSHASA which comprises of 30 police advisers who will help in the creation of an Integrated Police Unit (IPU). It is headed by Adilio Custodio and has a budget of 4.3 million ($5.5 million).

The launch ceremony for the mission at Kinsahsa's Camp Lufungula was attended by EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier SOLANA and European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid Louis MICHEL.

The EU has financed the training of 1,050 police for the IPU.

EUSEC and EUPOL aim to support the DRC's post-conflict transition process, the EU said.

"The demobilisation of combatants and security reform are crucial for the successful achievement of transition," it added.


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