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Tue, 03 Nov 2009 09:32 - Updated Tue, 03 Nov 2009 09:31

Congo vows to stamp out new armed movement

Kinshasa

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KINSHASA - Congo is deploying police and soldiers to stamp out a new armed uprising blamed for killing dozens of police in an attack in the country's isolated northern border region last week, a government spokesman said on Monday.

Armed men killed 47 policemen sent to quell ethnic clashes between two villages in Equateur province last week, United Nations-supported Radio Okapi reported.

Information Minister Lambert Mende said on Monday security forces were being sent to the area. "They will suppress anyone found with a weapon. They will arrest those who murdered our policemen. The operations have started," he said.

Residents from the neighbouring villages of Enyele and Monzaya, representing two different ethnic groups, have been involved in feuding over fishing rights.

Nearly 1,000 civilians have crossed the border into neighbouring Congo Republic to escape the violence, a government official said on Congo Republic state radio.

The clashes are not linked to simmering fighting in Congo's eastern borderlands, where the army, backed by thousands of U.N. peacekeepers, is attempting to stamp out local, Rwandan and Ugandan rebels who roam the mineral-rich regions.

The United Nations said on Monday it was suspending support for some Congo army units it says it believes deliberately killed civilians in the east.