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UN accused of participating in Congo massacre

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Issue: 38 Section: International News Geography: Africa Congo Topics: UN

June 24, 2006

UN accused of participating in Congo massacre

by Hillary Bain Lindsay

The UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo is investigating reports that UN soldiers colluded in the massacre of civilians and the destruction of a village during a joint operation with the Congolese army, Reuters reports.

The assault was intended to dislodge Walendu ethnic militias from the Front de Resistance Patriotique en Ituri (FRPI) before Congo's first democratic elections on July 30.

According to an article in the Observer, UN soldiers opened fire using mortars and heavy machineguns when women and children were present and gave no warning of their attack. Later, as UN troops watched, the Congolese army torched the village.

Survivors say that up to 30 civilians were killed during and after the initial UN mortar barrage, reports Alternet

The attack occurred on April 21st and the UN was informed of the attack by a journalist on April 30. The investigation was not announced until after the Observer article appeared two months later.

Canadians are among the 17,000 UN troops in Congo.

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