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UN peace keepers have not left their positions in eastern DR Congo

07-12-2012 16:26 BJT

KINSHASA, July 12 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Mission for Stabilization of Congo (MONUSCO) has not left its positions in North Kivu province in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo), the mission's spokesman Madnodje Mounoubai said on Wednesday.

"The MONUSCO officers have not left the zones where they had been deployed to ensure the protection of the civilians, especially after the occupation of Rutshuru and Bunagana territories in North Kivu by the M23 mutineers," the spokesman said when he addressed the media in Kinshasa.

Mounoubai explained that the protection of civilians should not be confused with the securing of localities, affirming that in case there is fighting, the MONUSCO force creates a security buffer zone to protect the civilians.

While reacting to a statement by the M23 rebels, the UN official said that MONUSCO did not negotiate with the M23 rebels to replace them in some of the localities they had initially occupied.

In an earlier press statement, an official of the mutineers had indicated that the latter had pulled out of Rutshuru to allow the MONUSCO forces to take control.

Following the capture of Bunagana town which is near the border with Uganda by the M23 rebels, the MONUSCO force created a security cordon comprised of armored vehicles around the area to protect the civilian population.

Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

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