UN Chief Condemns Attack On Peacekeepers As DR Congo Army Clashes With M23 Rebels

UN Chief Condemns Attack On Peacekeepers As DR Congo Army Clashes With M23 Rebels

By Spy Uganda Correspondent

The UN chief on Saturday condemned an attack which saw eight peacekeepers from the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo wounded during clashes between the powerful M23 rebel movement and Government troops.

The incident occurred in the vicinity of Sake, just 20 kilometers from Goma, the provincial capital of North Kivu.

The wounded peacekeepers, who were part of Operation Springbok initiated last November to safeguard civilians in the region, sustained their injuries amidst the ongoing fighting, where UN troops have been assisting Government forces in order to protect vulnerable civilians.

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In a strongly-worded statement issued by his Spokesperson, UN Secretary-General António Guterres condemned the attack, emphasizing that it could amount to a war crime under international law.

Expressing his wishes for a swift recovery for the injured peacekeepers, he reiterated calls for all armed groups, Congolese and foreign fighters alike, to immediately cease hostilities and engage in the disarmament process.

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Furthermore, the UN chief emphasized the necessity for M23 to withdraw entirely from territory it has occupied and conform to the agreements outlined in the Luanda communiqué of November 2022, to uphold the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the DRC.

Bintou Keita, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in the DRC and head of the UN mission MONUSCO, joined in the condemnation, denouncing the attack .

She said that one of the wounded ‘blue helmets’ had suffered severe injuries and all have been evacuated for appropriate medical care.

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The peacekeepers had been deployed for several weeks as part of Operation Springbok in the restive North Kivu area, working jointly with Government troops in military operations. Ms. Keita reaffirmed MONUSCO’s commitment to support investigations in the hopes of bringing those responsible to justice.

The Secretary-General and his Special Representative reaffirmed MONUSCO’s resolve to further implement its protection of civilians mandate from the Security Council and work alongside Congolese defense and security forces to reinforce joint and unilateral patrols to protect civilians.

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