Page last updated at 03:29 GMT, Monday, 9 June 2008 04:29 UK

Gun incident mars UN Congo visit

UN envoys
The envoys were visiting conflict-ridden eastern Congo

Top international diplomats were forced to abandon their travel plans after a security breach by a UN guard in the east of Democratic Republic of Congo.

The guard discharged his weapon in the cabin of a jet on an airport tarmac in Goma, in the east of the country, while the dignitaries were on board.

No one was hurt, but the pilot decided the aircraft was no longer safe to fly.

The envoys - members of the UN Security Council touring African conflict zones - were forced to leave DR Congo by bus.

They were driven to neighbouring Rwanda, where they caught a plane to Ivory Coast.

"They were boarding the aircraft to come back to Kinshasa," UN spokesman Keman Saiki said.

"UN security have to surrender their weapons on the plane. He (a guard) was doing a safety check and there was an accidental discharge," he added.

The envoys are on a fact-finding mission that has already taken them to Sudan, Somalia and Chad.

Their next destination - Ivory Coast - is due to hold a presidential election in November.

About 8,000 peacekeepers are stationed in the country, to support the peace process between the government and former rebels.

UN looks to DR Congo withdrawal
07 Jun 08 |  Africa
Peacekeepers 'abusing children'
27 May 08 |  Special Reports


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