Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) –A special brigade of some 2,000 soldiers, which will be set up within the United Nations Mission for the Stabilization of Congo (MONUSCO), will be headed by a Tanzanian official.
This was announced on Monday in Addis Ababa by the special representative of the African Union (AU) for the Great Lakes Region, Mr Boubacar Diarra.
"The designation of a Tanzanian at the head of the Brigade was agreed by consensus by countries of the region. The other consensual point is the integration of the Brigade within MONUSCO," he said in a news conference at the just-ended 20th AU summit.
Mr. Diarra, who is also the head of the AU Bureau in Burundi, said that the MONUSCO special brigade would not only fight the M23 rebel movement but other negative forces.
"This special brigade, which will be made up of troops sent by states of the region, with the exception of Burundi, Uganda and Rwanda, will be fighting not just against the Maï-Maï and the Rwanda Democratic Liberation Front (FDLR) but also the other negative forces," Mr. Diarra, former Malian justice minister, said.
The International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (GIRGL) has decided to deploy a neutral force in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (RDC) to fight against armed groups, including the M23 movement.
After negotiations between the AU and CIRGLC, the principle was adopted to turn this force into a MONUSCO special brigade entrusted with a specific mandate that authorises it to open fire without having been attacked.
-0- PANA SEI/AAS/IBA/PAP/MA 28Jan2013