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Apr 29, 2008 at 09:32am IST

BBC Report: IPKF in Congo traded drugs, gold

New Delhi: A BBC report has shocked the nation saying that some members of the Indian peacekeeping troops in Congo had direct dealings with the militia there.

The report says some Indian troops traded gold and bought drugs from the militias involved in the Rwandan genocide. They also allegedly exchanged weapons for ivory.

The report even claims that the United Nations tried to cover its tracks by suppressing key evidence.

The head of UN operations in Congo has dismissed these reports as mere rehash.

India has the the largest peacekeeping contingent in Congo with more than 5,000 troops.

The BBC had first made such allegations more than a year ago. It has made similar accusations against Pakistani peacekeepers too. Indian officials said the UN is already investigating these charges.

According to the BBC report, UN and India agreed that a UN investigation team would "determine whether the allegations are credible and require full investigation by India and the United Nations".

That team identified five areas involving Indian troops in which a UN report says allegations have been "corroborated":

  • The illegal purchase of gold from rebels of the FDLR — the former Rwandan army that fled to Congo following their involvement in the Rwanda genocide of 1994
  • The use of a UN helicopter to fly into the Virunga national park, to exchange ammunition for ivory with the rebels
  • The exchanging with the rebels of UN rations for gold
  • The buying of drugs from the rebels
  • The failure to support the disarmament of this rebel group