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Tanzanian troops head for UN mission to fight Congo rebels
Wednesday 8 May 2013
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Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete bade farewell Wednesday to 1,280 troops off to join a new UN peacekeeping mission in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and fight insurgents there.

"Please observe discipline and professionalism in your work," Kikwete told the Tanzanian soldiers, as he presented them with a flag at a military parade.

The troops will form the backbone of a planned 2,500-strong new United Nations brigade, unanimously approved by the Security Council in March and with a mandate to conduct "targeted offensive operations" against rebels in eastern DR Congo.

A key focus will be the M23 rebels in the mineral-rich area, which has been gripped by conflict for more than two decades.

The UN force is due to consist of three infantry battalions, an artillery company, a reconnaissance company and "special forces", with troops also being mustered from South Africa and Malawi.

M23, named for a peace deal with the DRC government signed on March 23, 2009, emerged out of an ethnic Tutsi mutiny in the army in April 2012, on the grounds that Kinshasa was not upholding the pact.

The rebels briefly seized the North Kivu provincial capital Goma in November last year.

M23's political leader Bertrand Bisimwa last month wrote to Tanzania's parliament warning the fighters had previously beaten even "larger and better equipped" forces, and that the same would happen to Tanzanian troops if they continued in this "dangerous adventure".

However, Tanzanian foreign minister Bernard Membe last week dismissed threats and said the army was not frightened, but was coming to "restore peace in the burning house of our neighbour."



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daniel
10-05-2013 09:19pm
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wait and see
qadat wait and see soon as possible u will see the back of soldies bodies in your country because u don't knows how m23 skilled even more than your soldiers.
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abu qatada
15-05-2013 06:31pm
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Wait and See
This is exactly what Al Shabaab told KDF. Everytime they were hit and thrown out of town they claimed they had made a tactical retreat, threatening to come back and retake the towns. In every war soldiers die, including Kenyans and Tanzanians but that is not to say that soldiers will cower away from the job because of the supposed invincibility of the enemy. m23 may be a formidable force but may be in the context of the confusion of the Eastern DRC where there is chaos and disorder. They are yet to meet a well organised army. In any case it is a known fact that they are a reserve army of Rwanda but still it does not mean Rwanda is invincible.
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abu qatada
09-05-2013 06:49pm
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Tanzania's intervention in DRC
Tanzania's intervention should change the game in the DRC especially when it succeeds in halting Rwanda's and Uganda's adventures in these parts. When Kenya entered Somalia the Al Shabaab made such threats as M23, promising to inflict defeat. Instead the Kenyans have liberated the whole of Jubaland. The turning point for the Kenyans was when they lost fear of the Al Shabaab. M23 should realise that the region will not be blackmailed for ever and that regional forces are fed up with their bloody campaign. They will soon realise that regional armies are no longer threatened by their threats and myths of their invincibility and that a time has come when the region will take puntive action against them and their backers in Kigali and Kampala. Al Shabaab warned KDF not to set foot in Somalia because Somali fighters have defeated Ethiopian and US forces from Somalia before expecting the Kenyans to cower in fear. Faced with superior skill and fire power from the Kenyans they soon discovered that religious fanaticism alone does not win a war. In the DRC the Rwanda genocide of 1994 has been the raison d'tre for Rwanda's and Uganda's adventures in the region and the DRC and the rationale for their proxy armies to pillage. Happily this rationale no longer persuades the democratic majority.
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Abraham
09-05-2013 11:13am
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I support the move
Big up president kikwete, this is the right move to save the life of the disadvantage women's and kids. As a Tz I support this move 200%.
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