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UN peacekeepers accused of supporting Congo warlord

Thursday 30 April 2009 00:00 BST

UN peacekeepers are supporting a Congolese army offensive in which a warlord wanted by the International Criminal Court is playing a prominent role, Congolese army documents show.

A 4 April Congolese army internal report refers to Jean Bosco Ntaganda as "deputy coordinator" for the offensive in eastern Congo against Hutu rebels. International prosecutors in The Hague have accused Mr Ntaganda of recruiting children under 14 to fight in Ituri in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in 2002 and 2003.

Alan Doss, the head of the UN mission in Congo, said he could not comment on the army document, but said he had received a call from a very senior official in the Congolese army, who "assured me that that was not the case".

Human Rights Watch accused the UN mission of "burying its head in the sand" over the issue. "UN senior officials wilfully choose to ignore the mounting evidence, preferring to brush it aside as rumours," said Anneke Van Woudenberg.

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