AFRICA/DR CONGO – United Nations will increase Peacekeeping troops in Katanga, a drama signalled by the country's Catholic Bishops

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) – The people of Katanga welcome the announcement by the command of MONUSCO (UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo) of a decision to increase its Peacekeeping troops in the southern Congolese province disrupted due to violence by the Bakata-Katanga secessionist group.
The additional UN troops will be deployed to Pweto, a town which, with Mitwaba and Manono, forms what is known as “triangle of death”, due to violence on the part of Mai-warriors calling for a sharing of resources between north and south Katanga, and on the part of the Bakata-Katanga rebels, demanding independence from the province. UN reports say that in Katanga violence has displaced at least 400.000 persons.
The situation in the situation was recently denounced in a Pastoral Letter issued by the Bishops’ Conference of the Ecclesiastic province of Lubumbashi (see Fides 21/2/2014).
Katanga is considered to be potentially the most prosperous province in the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly because of several copper mines which are still only fully exploited in the south. This fact causes tension between north and south of the province , which comes in addition to tension due to national politics. MONUSCO has about 20,000 troops of which only 400 deployed in Katanga. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 25/2/2014)