KINSHASA, Congo – A spokesman for the U.N. peacekeeping force in Congo says peacekeepers who were detained for possessing Congolese military uniforms apparently bought them to wear while hunting back home.
The six Ukrainian peacekeepers were found Wednesday with the uniforms, including ones for the presidential guard, at the airport in Goma, in eastern Congo.
The incident could further undermine confidence in the force, which has come under criticism for not doing enough to stop attacks on civilians. But Lt. Col. Felix Basse on Thursday tried to play down the incident. He told U.N.-backed Radio Okapi that the investigation was taking place "in total calm" and with the force's full cooperation.
The U.N. force has about 21,000 troops in eastern Congo, home to armed groups competing for control of the region's mineral resources.