In the Congo, Angolan Troops or Angola-Trained, Lost
in Translation With the UN
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
November 10 -- Reports of Angolan
troops intervening in the Congo to support President Joseph Kabila over
general Laurent Nkunda, while denied by the UN in New York, continue to
proliferate. A senior Uruguayan officer with the United Nations
peacekeeping force in Goma has been quoted
that Angolan soldiers have been
deployed in combat against Nkunda's forces: "They have been camped
our position and we have heard them talking Portuguese. We understand
because we speak Spanish, for sure they are Angolan," he said.
Friday by Edmond Mulet, UN Peacekeeping's number two official was that
were Congolese troops who had been trained in Angola, and thus spoke
Portuguese. But why, Inner City
Press asked, would Congolese troops speak
Portuguese to each other?
UN officials have approached Inner City Press with another story,
insisting it be not for attribution. They say that the Angola-trained
troops were trying to communicate with the Uruguayan peacekeepers.
latter speak Spanish, the Congolese troops spoke the closest language
diplomats from Paris chafing, why didn't they try in French?)
UN Peacekeepers in Goma, Angolan troops not
further state that two groupings of Congolese FARDC troops were sent to
for training: one from the Kivus, another from elsewhere in the Congo.
it was this non-Kivu grouping, better equipped and more disciplined
locals, who were mistaken for Angolan troops.
Whether the UN is telling the truth should become
apparent in short
Perhaps some are
hoping that the question of illegal intervention will
be become moot. In any event, the South
African Development Community's Tomaz
Salomao said of Angolan soldiers in the Congo, "If
they will be on the ground soon."
Click here for Inner City
Press Nov. 7 debate on the war in Congo
Watch this site, and this Oct. 2 debate, on
UN, bailout, MDGs
and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
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