Sarkozy rejects EU military intervention in DR Congo 2008-12-12 23:48:04   Print

    BRUSSELS, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Friday ruled out military intervention in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) in response to a request by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

    Sarkozy indicated that there was no need for extra troops, pointing out that the 17,000 UN soldiers in the DR Congo represent the largest UN peacekeeping operation.

    "Do you have to send another 3,000 if you've got 17,000 there already?" he asked at a press conference following an EU summit.

    Ban last week requested the European Union (EU) to provide a "bridging force" to take the ground in the eastern DR Congo as the UN prepares for the deployment of 3,000 additional peacekeepers, who will arrive in about four months.

    Sarkozy said he had spoken with regional leaders, including Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who said his country is ready to commit more troops to peacekeeping in the DR Congo provided it is under a UN mandate.

    "If you need reinforcements, isn't it better to draw on regional forces first of all?" asked Sarkozy, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency,

    He noted that the EU is already in Chad, and "you can't be everywhere all the time. You have your limits."

    EU foreign ministers on Monday failed to reach an agreement on troops for the DR Congo. Britain and Germany also opposed military intervention in the country.

    Some 250,000 people have been displaced in the eastern DR Congo due to intensified fighting between government troops and rebel militia.

Editor: Sun
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