11 July 2006

Secretary-General Welcomes Release of 5 Nepalese Peacekeepers, Held by Militia in Democratic Republic of Congo since 28 May

NEW YORK, 10 July (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in Berlin on 8 July:

The Secretary-General welcomes the release today of the five Nepalese peacekeepers serving with the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), who had been held by the Front des Nationalistes et des Intégrationistes (FNI) militia in Ituri since 28 May.  He is deeply thankful to representatives of the local community, who have worked closely with MONUC to secure the release of the peacekeepers.

The Secretary-General once again expresses his profound condolences to the family of the peacekeeper who was killed during a firefight with the FNI militia on 28 May, which led to the kidnapping of the seven peacekeepers, as well as to the Government of Nepal.  He hopes that the seven and their families will recover from the anguish they have suffered during this terrible ordeal.

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