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After the polls of 29 October, EUFOR resumes its patrols in Kinshasa city

Monuc - November 3, 2006 4:29 PM

Congo Kinshasa

European Force resumed its day and night patrols in the city since the closing of the polling stations, according to its spokesperson Lt. Colonel Thierry Fusalba, at a weekly press conference held in Kinshasa on 2 November, 2006.

After having been confined to barracks during the polling operations, the European Force is again present with all means at its disposal, including helicopters and drones, to control the situation and to react at MONUC’s request, if needed.

EUFOR said people should not feel worried by this procedure as it is aimed at reassuring them that EUFOR is present everywhere and that they constantly have the means to know what is happening in Kinshasa.

The patrols have been reinforced by supplementary contingents that have come from Libreville and will continue patrolling throughout the week.

As to whether the decision of withdrawing EUFOR after November 30, 2006 was definitive, even in case of confrontations following the results announcement, Mr. Fusalba declared that EUFOR will remain at least four more weeks after the end of its mandate with a reduced contingent to assure a smooth withdrawal process of the troops.

"EUFOR won't leave the DRC in one day" said Mr. Fusalba. However, for a prolongation of the mandate beyond 30 November, it is necessary to wait for a positive official answer from Brussels.

During the past week, EUFOR has been requested by MONUC to carry out two particular tasks.

Following this demand, EUFOR sent a cargo plane to Gbadolite to route light armaments towards Kinshasa, including about 1 250 Kalachnikovs, on 31 October, 2006

This operation is in the frame of the demobilization, disarmament and reinsertion (DDR) program conducted in the region.

About thirty EUFOR soldiers have been securing the loading operations carried out by MONUC.

In the period of 30 October and 1 November 2006, EUFOR provided 14 trucks for the post-electoral collecting operations in Kinshasa city. The EUFOR soldiers, who supported this operation, have been placed for three days under the responsibility of MONUC.

EUFOR expressed its satisfaction for the peaceful progress of the elections and congratulated the Congolese people for once again proving their maturity.

EUFOR also greeted the work accomplished by those who contributed to the organization, progress and securing of the elections.

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