Skip to main content
CNN EditionWorld
The Web     
Powered by
powered by Yahoo!

French force arrives in Bunia

By From CNN Correspondent Catherine Bond

The French troops are authorized to take action against
The French troops are authorized to take action against "aggressive" armed groups.

Story Tools

BUNIA, Democratic Republic of Congo (CNN) -- A French-led force began arriving in Bunia Tuesday to bolster a United Nations peacekeeping contingent that has been unable to prevent tribal fighting in and around the Democratic Republic of Congo town.

"We are here to reinforce MONUC (the U.N. peacekeeping force) until the reinforcements of U.N. troops arrive in August," said Col. Jerard Dubois, spokesman for the French-led forces.

The French-led troops are authorized to take pre-emptive actions against any armed group it determines has intentions to be aggressive, Col. Dubois told journalists at the airport in Bunia. This contingent, however, will be confined to the town of Bunia and its suburbs, he said.

Gen. Jean Paul Thonier, the commander of the force, will decide exactly what their geographical limits will be, Col. Dubois said.

"Outside of Bunia, the force has no mandate and no means to secure the country," Col. Dubois said.

Many of the humanitarian agencies operating in Bunia believe something has to be done to stop sporadic fighting and killings in the district surrounding Bunia as a whole.

There is concern in Bunia that since the French-led force does not have the mandate to get between the ethnic militias or disarm them, it won't necessarily intervene in clashes like those that took place in the city of Bunia on Saturday.

Major Chris Pullis, a British officer attached to the French forces, said each security incident will be judged individually.

Troops from other nations are expected to join the French-led contingent, Major Pullis said.

Story Tools
Subscribe to Time for $1.99 cover
Top Stories
Iran poll to go to run-off
Top Stories
CNN/Money: Security alert issued for 40 million credit cards

International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise With Us About Us
   The Web     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser. does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.
Add RSS headlines.