Official: EU may send troops to DRC

By Xinhua,

Marseille, France : The European Union would not rule out the possiblity to send troops to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to help the UN to head off the worsened conflict between rebels and government forces, EU officials said here on Monday.

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“We’re talking about the work of the 17,000 UN peacekeepers there at the moment and the role of the European Union in supporting that politically, diplomatically, and no-one’s ruling out a military role,” British Foreign Secretary David Miliband told reporters upon his arrival for an informal meeting of European Union foreign ministers.

But Miliband noted that no decision would be made until after the United Nations Security Council made a decision, saying “It will be for the United Nations including EU countries in the UN to listen to that report.”

UN Secretary General Ban-Ki moon’s deputy responsible for peacekeeping to the DRC has gone to DRC to inspect report on the conflict that has forced millions to flee their homes.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, who visited the violence-torn African country recently with Miliband told a press conference after the meeting “Europe has to act” in the DRC and that meant to “increase the number of soldiers and make it more efficient.”

Both Kouchner and Miliband said the EU would back the African Union in solving the DRC crisis in a political way, saying that there would be “no military solution.”

Millions of people have lived in camps around Rutshuru or fled into nearby villages and jungle after conflict between government forces and rebel National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP) flared up in the DRC.

As many as 17,000 UN peacekeeping force, its biggest ever mission, have been in the African country.