It seems as though the European disuasion forces of EUFOR-RDC were tired of being billed a cosmetic PR stunt. They decided to show what they are capable of:
Reuters AlertNet - EU force shows muscle ahead of Congo polls: "KINSHASA, July 20 (Reuters) - A European Union military force sent to Congo showed off its firepower and technology on Thursday, saying it was ready to help U.N. peacekeepers maintain security during this month's elections.Well, that's good... but I still think they are there for show, and to evacuate Western foreigners in case of a post-electoral catastrophe. After seeing what is happening in Lebanon, with a flotila of soldiers coming to rescue Westerners, it seems quite logical. The Europeans do not want 1960 to repeat itself, and they want to be able to cut their losses. Pragmatically speaking, I can't say I blame them. Ethically, well... they colonized us once, so ethics is not always something I expect from their governments. And their superpower-of-a-cousin to the West is indifferent at best, accomplice at worst. So as Congolese people, we are left alone, facing former rebel leaders, powerful government officials, and popular/populist opposition parties, all claiming to want the good of our people, and all intent on being in power, some at any cost. Hence my slight apprehension of these elections. The UN is already denouncing irregularities, and people are less and less convinced that the elections will be free and fair.
Soldiers parachuted into their Kinshasa base from helicopters before special forces teams performed a simulated hostage rescue and the force illustrated how it could quickly deploy men and armoured vehicles.
Congolese politicians, military personnel, as well as foreign and local media were also shown the unmanned surveillance planes and weaponry the force has as its disposal."
Here are images of tuesday's protests (from TV5, in French. The newscast does not stop after the Congo topic).
Also, the site of the UN Mission in Congo, has news pieces from their staff, and from major news sources, updated daily (except on weekends), in english and in french. And of course, The Salon is always here to give you all we can find, and our modest insight.
(To Be Continued...)