Saturday, 20 October, 2018

14 peacekeepers killed in DR Congo clashes

UN confirm 14 peacekeepers killed and 40 injured in bloody Congo battle The UN in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Marty Perkins | 12 December, 2017, 08:48

At least 14 peacekeepers have been killed and 40 wounded in an attack on a United Nations base in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

"I condemn this attack unequivocally".

Security Council members met in a closed session Friday afternoon to discuss the attack, after holding a moment of silence in tribute to the victims.

In response to the growing unrest, and in an effort to protect civilians, the U.N.'s Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Jean-Pierre Lacroix said MONUSCO had stepped up its activities in the area.

The peacekeeping base is about 45 kilometres from the town of Beni, which has been repeatedly attacked by the ADF rebel group.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed "outrage and utter heartbreak" and called the attack a war crime, urging Congolese authorities to swiftly investigate.

It was the worst violence against the mission in the central African country in years.

'It's a very huge attack, certainly the worst in recent memory, ' Haq said, adding that the peacekeepers are mainly from the Tanzanian contingent.

He also informed that military reinforcements, including the Force Commander from MONUSCO, had arrived on the scene and medical evacuation of casualties was ongoing.

Jean-Pierre Lacroix, the undersecretary general of United Nations peacekeeping. said earlier on Twitter that the attack occurred Thursday evening in North Kivu province.

"Attacks against those who are working in the service of peace and stability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are cowardly and constitute serious violations", said MONUSCO chief Maman Sidikou in a statement. The UN says 53 other officers were also injured in the same attack. "MONUSCO will take all actions to ensure that the perpetrators are held accountable and brought to justice".