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Euro-parliament questions arms from europe to police and intelligence

MISNA | Published on September 27, 2005

A programme for the delivery of weapons to the secret services in the Democratic Republic of Congo - under a United Nations arms embargo - from the Belgian government of Vallon, and of second-hand guns from Brussels authorities to the police in DR-Congo, was submitted to questioning of the European Commission to establish the legitimacy of the operation. The irresponsible transferral of arms foments armed violence, contributes to violations of human rights and humanitarian law, as well as jeopardising development, reads the document presented by the European parliamentarian Frieda Brepoels, of which MISNA received a copy. The European Commission is called to judge whether the arms delivery could in some way represent a violation of the embargo imposed on DR-Congo by the UN and EU communitarian laws. In 2003 the UN Security Council approved this measure - with an at least 5 year delay in respect to the start of the war in 1998 - to halt the inflow of war material provisioning armed groups, particularly in east DR-Congo; in the area that Congolese mineral resources pushed local and foreign elements - including the governments of Uganda and Rwanda - to forage the local guerrilla. In its response, the Commission explains that the subject is not of its exclusive competence and therefore cannot assume the task of determining whether the arms delivery violates or not the UN embargo, which in fact lies under the competence of the actual UN Security Council and Committee for the monitoring of embargoes. The EU government' explains that the arms delivery programme is part of a larger project for the training of around a thousand Congolese police agents of the different ethnic groups of the nation. The monitoring of the delivered arms - reads the EU Commission response - is currently duty of the Eupol' mission, the European police deployed to Kinshasa in May 2005.

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