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UPDATED: 16:30, February 09, 2006
UN wants EU to send peacekeeping force to DRC
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A senior UN peacekeeping official said here on Wednesday that he hoped the European Union (EU) would finish deploying its peacekeeping force in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) a month before the country's elections.

Christian Bergeron, the assistant general-chief of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the DRC told Xinhua that by sending a peacekeeping force, the EU will send the DRC and its neighboring countries a clear message that it is willing to participate in the operation to protect the DRC's security and safeguard its first democratic elections in more than 40 years.

Last December, the UN Security Council asked the EU to deploy a rapid reaction force for a duration of four months to help beef up security during the country's elections whose first round of voting is due to take place on April 29 of this year.

Bergeron said a EU military team is currently visiting the DRC and the EU has expressed the wish to keep the command of the European peacekeeping force. He said the UN mission respects the EU's choice.

The United Nations has so far deployed in the DRC 16,000 blue helmets.

Source: Xinhua

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