Following the agreement signed on September 23 2006 by representatives of President Kabila and Vice President Bemba, a new patrol under the objective of ?Kinshasa, city without arms?, was launched yesterday October 2 2006.
These patrols are comprised of elements of the Congolese National Police (PNC), the Military Police of the DRC Armed Forces (FARDC), the Formed Police Unit of MONUC, MONUC military, and EUPOL (EU Police) who provide technical assistance, and, if neccessary, EUFOR.
The overall aim of the new patrol is to prevent the risk of armed clashes in Kinshasa by verifying the movement of all firearms carrying personnel in the city.
MONUC military spokesperson Lt. Colonel Stéphane Lescoffit said that the main objective is to reduce the circulation of illegal arms in Kinshasa by verifying all those that carry a firearm in the city.
?MONUC military is charged with the coordination of this patrol, which will patrol the whole city. There will be two patrols per day in the morning and in the evening, and it is foreseen to increase the patrols at night also.?
?The patrols will control and identify anyone moving on public roads or in public places with firearms, and any found in breach of the agreement will be presented to the relevant authorities,? he added.
This patrol forms the fifth type of patrol in Kinshasa, along with the regular MONUC patrols, EUFOR patrols, mixed police controls and verification controls.
MONUC and EUFOR carry out regular 24 four hour patrols throughout the central city districts of Gombe and Ma Campagne, with occasional patrols in other areas.
The mixed police patrols are formed by the PNC and MONUC police with assistance from EUPOL, and have been implemented for security and intervention purposes.
The verification patrols consist of elements of President Kabila?s The Republican guard and Vice President Bemba?s security forces, as a confidence and trust building measure to reduce the tension between both camps following the violent Kinshasa confrontations of August 20 to 22 last.