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UN Congo mission chief concerned about growing rights breaches by Congo troops

[JURIST] The head of the UN Mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) [official website] expressed concern Saturday about increased human rights violations by security forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo [JURIST news archive], particularly those in the remote eastern portions of the country. MONUC Chief of Mission William Swing [official profile] told Reuters in an interview that it would become increasingly difficult to cooperate with the Congolese army if the abuses continued.

The UN Security Council established MONUC to facilitate the implementation of the 1999 Lusaka Accord that ended a bloody civil war in the Congo [GlobalSecurity backgrounder] that had drawn in seven other African nations. Congolese soldiers and UN peacekeepers attached to MONUC deployed [Reuters report; UN Mission press release] to the western Congolese province of Bas-Congo after political protests following a gubernatorial election there on Friday left at least 77 people dead. Reuters has more.

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