Indian peacekeepers step up welfare measures in Congo
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Last Updated: Monday, April 05, 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.


First Published: Monday, April 05, 2010, 21:45

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