Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

UN Peacekeepers are failing to carry out their mandate. I don't blame the soldiers for this. They are too few. It is the UN's refusal to actually be effective because blocs will always stand in the way of actions. This is another example of why I do not trust the UN to finish the job we have begun in Iraq.

Rival ethnic groups battled outside a U.N. compound Wednesday, killing 10 civilians including women and children who tried to crowd into the base where thousands of terrorized people have taken refuge. Congo appealed for international troops to end a week of bloodshed.

Overwhelmed U.N. troops from Uruguay fired in the air to ward off the ethnic groups.

"There's firing everywhere, from mortars, Kalashnikovs and other heavy arms," U.N. spokeswoman Patricia Tome said by telephone from the compound during the fighting between Hema and Lendu warriors in the streets of Bunia city.

Stray mortar shells and gunfire riddled the compound. One mortar shell hit within 50 feet of the base, wounding 12 people, mostly children, Tome said.

A mortar shell also killed 10 people and wounded 100 others in a building next door to the compound, said Michel Kassa, a U.N. coordinator of humanitarian affairs.

"The people who were killed were in a building alongside (the compound), which has become the only place where people could huddle for protection. There were lots of people," he said. "I only saw civilians, poor women killed with their babies."

More than 10,000 residents have sought refuge in the U.N. compound and an airport.

The UN has appealed to France, among others, to send troops to intervene.

< email | 5/14/2003 03:39:00 PM | link

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