Indian peacekeepers step up welfare measures in Congo

Last Updated: Monday, April 5, 2010 - 21:45

New York: Indian peacekeepers
deployed in Congo have stepped up welfare measures for the
local population as they completed 23 community support
projects in the last eight months.

Indian personnel in the UN peacekeeping force in the
Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC) have finished 23
community support projects worth more than USD 2 lakhs in the
last eight months that includes health care, sports facilities
and bridge construction, according to the world body.

The Indians are also running the Bethesda Eye Hospital
in Goma in partnership with an international NGO in the
Central African country.

Since July 2009, Indian brigade has completed projects
including a road linking Goma with the port, new bridgeworks
to connect villages in remote areas, provision of corrugated
iron for the reconstruction of 155 houses burned down in Luofu
by armed groups.

They have also constructed a community hall and
improved sports and education facilities at primary schools.
An information technology laboratory is currently under
construction at the University of Goma, according to MONUC.

MONUC has been in DRC since 1999 following a fierce
war between the government and the rebels that has claimed
approximately four million lives.

A peace agreement was signed in 2003 failed to halt
the fighting in the country.

On Monday, media reports said that unidentified
fighters attacked a provincial capital in northern part of the
country that killed one UN peacekeeper.

The world’s attention has been drawn to the horrific
levels of rape and sexual violence carried out mostly by the
rebel forces and also by government troops.

MONUC has also come under criticism after human rights
groups found its personnel involved in sexual exploitation of
Congolese women and girls.

There are presently 19,815 military personnel and
1,050 police personnel in DRC. Among the South Asian
countries, troops have come from India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh
and Nepal.

PTI



First Published: Monday, April 5, 2010 - 21:45

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