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UN Said Its FIB Not in DRC Fighting, Now 1 Is Killed, Explanation of FIB?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 27 -- UN Peacekeeping in Eastern Congo mechanically calls for restraint and negotiations, then seemingly gets involved in the fighting.

On October 25, Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson Martin Nesirky if the Tanzanian component of the UN's "Force Intervention Brigade" was involved in the Congolese Army's fighting with the M23:

Inner City Press: I wanted to know whether MONUSCO can say who began this fighting. There is also a DRC citizen, Catherine Gihombo, who was shot by FARDC and is now being treated in hospital, and I wanted to know if MONUSCO was aware of any civilian casualties caused by the DRC army, and also it is said that the Tanzanian artillery of the Force Intervention Brigade has become part of it in some way, I am asking you whether they can confirm or deny that.

Spokesperson Nesirky: Well, on the last, as we have said, the Mission is monitoring what is going on; it is not actively involved at the moment. With regard to the other two questions, I will check on the civilian casualties, whether there is any further update for the Mission on that. And with regard to the very first question about who started it, at this point, I do not have clear information on that. I think the Mission is still looking into it, and obviously what is most important is stopping it at this point.

  In the forty eight hours since, the UN provided no information on civilian casualties, and no update to the public statement that the Force Intervention Brigade was not involved.

  In fact, the UN and various envoys on the Great Lakes issues calls for restraint.

  Now it emerges that a Tanzanian soldier in the FIB has been killed in Kiwanja. The UN, or Ladsous' man in Kinshasa Martin "One Way" Kobler, says the soldier was there to protect civilians. But the UN calls anything the FIB does "protecting civilians."

  Inner City Press has asked for an explanation, in writing, of the October 25 statement that the FIB was not involved, and this new announcement. While condoling the family of the soldier killed under UN Peacekeeping's command, it is important to know what the soldier, and the UN's FIB, were doing. Watch this site.


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