Defense Minister Javier García Wednesday brought peace of mind to the relatives of Uruguayan troops deployed in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as part of the United Nations peacekeeping mission (MONUSCO).
Two members of the multinational force have been arrested after opening fire for no tactical reason, resulting in two deaths. The incident prompted a strong reaction from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who ordered an inquiry into the incident. There was no information as to the nationality of the two perpetrators. García's announcement made it clear neither of them was Uruguayan.
Our soldiers are the best ambassadors Uruguay has in the world. They are those for whom we are surely most recognized in the world, the minister stressed at a press conference. There was no action that has compromised any member of our contingent, García explained.
García also appeared Wednesday before the Senate's International Affairs Committee to report on the cooperation agreement with China in defense matters.
The Uruguayan Army reported July 26 that there had been demonstrations in the DRC with riots and looting at the UN headquarters in the city of Goma, where most of the Uruguayan military contingent is deployed.
García also pointed out Wednesday that there was a relative calm these lately in Goma. He added that if Uruguayan forces are requested to participate in other scenarios, they will analyze it with a positive vision.
Most of Uruguay's troops and the entire IV Battalion are deployed in Goma together with the mission's military observers.