Rights groups: More peacekeepers during Congo vote

AP News
Posted: Jun 09, 2011 7:13 AM
Rights groups: More peacekeepers during Congo vote

A coalition of rights groups says the U.N. Security Council should send more peacekeepers to areas of Congo where rebels operate ahead of this year's presidential election.

In a statement Thursday, the group of 47 international and Congolese organizations led by Human Rights Watch, said they fear the brutal Ugandan-led Lord's Resistance Army will try to disrupt Nov. 28 elections.

According to Human Rights Watch, the LRA carried out 107 new attacks on civilians in Congo since the beginning of the year. Despite the threat the group poses, the coalition says only 5 percent of the U.N.'s peacekeepers in Congo are in LRA-affected areas.

The groups say there are no peacekeepers in northern Congo's Bas Uele district, where some of the worst LRA atrocities have been reported and where the rebel group's leader, Joseph Kony, is said to be hiding.