November 20, 2012 / 5:45 PM / 7 years ago

U.N. says peacekeepers cannot substitute for Congo army

UNITED NATIONS, Nov 20 (Reuters) - U.N. peackeepers in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo cannot substitute for the country’s own security forces, the United Nations said on Tuesday, after the world body’s troops gave up the battle against rebels for the city of Goma.

“MONUSCO (the U.N. mission in Congo), of course, cannot substitute for the efforts of national security forces including the FARDC (Congo national army),” said Eduardo del Buey, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman.

He said there were about 1,500 peacekeepers in Goma and they remained in control of the city’s airport. They will remain in Goma, a frontier city of about 1 million people, to “to protect civilians from imminent threat,” he said.

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