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Last Updated: Saturday, 30 July 2005, 02:21 GMT 03:21 UK
UN extends DR Congo arms embargo
A rebel soldier with a rocket-propelled grenade launcher
Arms trafficking is fuelling violence in eastern DR Congo
The UN Security Council has extended a two-year-old arms embargo on DR Congo and threatened to crack down on those who violate the sanctions.

The resolution, adopted unanimously, says armed groups in eastern Congo "perpetuate a climate of insecurity in the whole region".

The arms embargo applies to "any recipient" of weapons in the country.

The embargo as well as a travel ban and asset freeze for those who break it has been extended until 31 July 2006.

A panel of experts is also due to draw up a list of people violating the embargo.

A report by Amnesty International earlier this month warned that an international arms trafficking network was supplying arms to governments in Africa's Great Lakes region.

The web involved brokers and transporters from countries such as the United States, Britain, Israel and Russia.

Weapons ended up in the hands of militia groups in eastern DR Congo, fuelling violence, the human rights group said.

DR Congo's five-year civil war, which involved six countries, was declared over in 2003, with the creation of a transitional government.

But thousands of UN peacekeepers are struggling to contain violence in the east and north of the country.

Rwanda and neighbouring Uganda are accused of continuing to fuel unrest by smuggling in arms and plundering the region's resources.

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