monuc.org: Six U.N. peacekeepers held by Congo militia-sources ::: 29/05/2006:This is a perfect - albeit tragic - example of the rising tension around the elections. I have already addressed much of these issues in a previous post. For now, I would like to direct you to our friend 007 in Africa's article on the change in tensions that always seems to precede independance day in Congo - that is because independance day (June 30th) has recently been used as a deadline for EVERYTHING.
"KINSHASA, May 29 (Reuters) - Six Nepalese U.N. peacekeepers have been captured in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo by militia fighters who are demanding a ransom for their release, U.N. and Congolese sources said on Monday.
The sources, who asked not be named, said the United Nations mission in Congo was in contact with the militia holding the Nepalese peacekeepers, who were seized during a U.N. military operation in violence-prone Ituri district on Sunday."
Speaking of rising tension, and upping the ante, the German Bundestag has FINALLY masively approved the sending of troops to the EU Congo force, which is technically designed to help ensure the electoral proceedings take place peacefully; I do not want to spit on the hand that purports to help me, but this force seems to be more for show than anything else. I guess that is what is meant by a dissuasive presence... most of the troops will be stationed between Libreville in Gabon, and in Germany. Go figure.
On an unrelated - but Congolese - topic, watch out for President Joseph Kabila's state wedding to Olive Lembe Di-Sita, normally this Sunday.