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UN Says DRC Forces Commit Increasing Rights Violations

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VOA News - May 10, 2006

The United Nations says government forces in the southern Democratic Republic of Congo are committing an increasing number of serious human rights violations.

The U.N.'s Congo mission issued a report Wednesday. It says individual cases of torture, summary executions and other serious abuses by members of Congolese security forces rose sharply in the period from April to December of last year.

The Associated Press reports that in light of the findings, the U.N. is considering ending joint operations with Congolese forces. However, a U.N. spokesman in the DRC, Kemal Saiki, tells VOA that after an internal debate, the mission has decided the operations will continue.

U.N. and DRC forces have been trying to subdue militia groups ahead of Congolese elections.

The U.N. mission has denounced the human rights violations, and is asking Congo's government to look into the root cause.

The spokesman said many Congolese troops are not receiving salaries nor adequate training.

The U.N. report focused on the southern Katanga province, where government troops have been battling the Mai-Mai militia. There are just over 800 U.N. peacekeepers in the volatile region, which is twice the size of France.


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