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Last Updated: Friday, 5 September, 2003, 18:01 GMT 19:01 UK
DR Congo military chiefs sworn-in
President Joseph Kabila
President Kabila remains the armed forces supreme commander
The leadership of the new unified armed forces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been sworn in as part of a peace agreement signed earlier this year.

Friday's swearing-in ceremony marks another important step towards the reconciliation of the former antagonists in the DRC.

At a ceremony in the capital, Kinshasa, more than 30 generals made an oath of allegiance to the country and the head of state.

President Joseph Kabila, who is the supreme commander of the DRC's armed forces, oversaw the ceremony at which Lieutenant-General Liwanga Maata Nyamunyobo was officially appointed as the head of the new armed forces.

Mr Nyamunyobo first served under former President Mobutu Sese Seko in what was then Zaire. Later under Joseph Kabila's father, Laurent, he headed the country's navy.

The new military command has been drawn from the factions involved in the five-year civil war in which an estimated 2.5 million people lost their lives.

Protests

Meanwhile, around 500 young men went on a looting spree on Friday after demanding jobs with the United Nations and international aid agencies working in the north-eastern DR Congo town of Bunia, according to the Associated Press.

Shortly after the protest began, it degenerated into a looting spree as young men snatched anything they could from roadside stalls, including cigarettes, laundry soap and canned sardines.

Soldiers from the 2,500-strong UN force charged with stabilising Bunia and the surrounding Ituri region did not intervene to stop the looting.

The town has been devastated by fighting between rival tribal militias.




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