France says U.N. mandate in Congo must be reviewed

PARIS Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:03pm EST

PARIS Nov 20 (Reuters) - French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Tuesday urged a review of the United Nations' peacekeeping mandate in the Democratic Republic of Congo, after rebels widely believed to be backed by Rwanda seized the eastern city of Goma.

Fabius said it was "absurd" that a few hundred rebels had been able to parade past a 17,000-strong U.N.-mandated peace-keeping force (MONUSCO), which gave up the battle for the frontier city of 1 million people.

"MONUSCO is 17,000 soldiers, but sadly it was not in a position to prevent what happened. It is necessary that the MONUSCO mandate is reviewed," Fabius told reporters.

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