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War is Boring: Congo Calls for Peacekeepers' Withdrawal

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Congo wants the U.N. peacekeepers out. Eleven years after one the world's biggest peacekeeping forces deployed to the Democratic Republic of Congo in a bid to tamp down on insurgent violence and oversee the resolution of a bloody civil war, DRC President Joseph Kabila has grown uncomfortable with the sometimes corrupt and ineffective blue-helmeted troops. "Don't do anything for us," Lambert Mende, Kabila's information minister, told the U.N. "We will do it ourselves."

Kabila's call for an end to the Mission of the U.N. in Congo (MONUC) comes at a time of renewed international interest in the DRC's overlapping conflicts, which by some measures represent the bloodiest war of the last decade, with at least 700,000 dead. Even as the DRC government and the U.N. begin negotiating cuts to MONUC's 20,000 troops -- most of them Bangladeshis, Indians and Pakistanis -- the U.S. Congress has passed a new law requiring the U.S. military to craft a strategy for defeating one of Congo's most dangerous rebel groups. The result is a Congolese political scene as bewildering as its scores of armed groups and its ever-shifting alliances with neighboring countries. ...

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