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The Africa Report: 07 May

EWN's Africa Correspondent, Jean-Jacques Cornish, reports on the day's top African news

Mary Robinson, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Picture: AFP

LIMITED OPERATIONS FOR UN INTERVENTION FORCE

The United Nations (UN) peace envoy, Mary Robinson, has stated that the eastern intervention brigade to be deployed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) must be used sparingly.

Robinson, the former Irish President, has been visiting the area and said that humanitarian operations will be comprised by the situation.

Immediate neighbours of the DRC which include Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda have also expressed concern, but have expressed keen support for the yet-to-be deployed force.

The force will comprise of South Africans, Malawians and Tanzanians, making up a 2,500 strong troop.

Robinson's suggestion appears to be an obvious one though as any ideas of wiping out the March 23 Movement rebels (M23) is absurd.

M23 rebels have already started provoking the intervention force sending messages to both Tanzania and South Africa, warning both countries that they were ready to fight.

Fortunately, the UN intervention force will have extra powers which the current UN force, United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, had not received.

_

PRO-INDEPENDENCE MARCH IN WESTERN SAHARA

Following the renewal of the mandate of the peacekeeping force in the Western Sahara last week, hundreds of pro-independence protestors took to the streets in the regions biggest such protest in recent decades.

Protestors took to the streets in what was intended to be peaceful rallies.

The protest came after the proposal of adding a human rights monitoring component to the peacekeeping force was omitted from the renewal.

Morocco, who illegally occupy the Western Sahara with the support of France, opposed the addition of the monitoring component.

The demonstrations took place in two of the biggest cities in the Western Sahara, El-Aaiún and Smara, led by the Moroccan Association of Human Rights.

21 police officers were injured in the violence that ensued whilst the number of injured protestors is unknown.

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