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DRC president condemns killing of UN peacekeepers
www.chinaview.cn 2005-02-26 13:33:42

    KINSHASA, Feb. 25 (Xinhuanet) -- President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Josef Kabila strongly condemned the murder of nine UN peacekeepers in the northeast of the country on Friday, vowing to track down the attackers.

    The attack was aimed at sabotaging the process of peace and unification in the DRC as well as the upcoming elections, Kabila said.

    Twenty-one Bangladeshi peacekeepers on patrol were ambushed by unidentified gunmen in the Ituri province, leaving nine dead and 11 others injured, said Mamadou Bah, spokesman of the UN mission in the DRC (MONUC).

    All militia leaders who refuse to disband their armed groups inIturi should take responsibility for this incident, and the deathsof UN peacekeepers would lead to a stronger determination of MONUCto demobilize the militias and protect the civilians, Bah said.

    Ituri is one of the country's worst trouble spots where ethnic militias have killed about 50,000 civilians since 1999. The UnitedNations has deployed 4,800 peacekeepers in this region.

    Before Friday's ambush, seven UN peacekeepers had been killed there.

    UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Friday condemned the murder,and extended his deepest sympathy and condolences to the government of Bangladesh and the families of the victims.

    Annan reaffirmed that the attack would not deter MONUC from carrying out its mandate in helping move the peace process forwardin the DRC.

    Around 16,000 UN peacekeepers from about 50 countries are overseeing a transition toward peace in the vast central African country, where a five-year war that sucked in six nations has leftnearly 4 million people dead. Enditem

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