Nepalese blue helmet killed; UN strongly condemns attack in DR Congo |
In a statement released by his deputy spokesperson, Secretary General António Guterres said the attack, believed to have been carried out by the Cooperative for the Development of Congo (CODECO), took place with troops from the UN mission MONUSCO, in Bali, territory of Djugu, in the province from Ituri.
“The Secretary-General expresses his deepest condolences to the family of the deceased peacekeeper, and to the government and people of Nepal,” the statement said, adding that attacks on UN peacekeepers may constitute a war crime.”
Mr. Guterres called on Congolese authorities to investigate the incident and “quickly bring those responsible to justice”.
He said the UN would continue to support the Congolese government and people through the 18,000-strong MONUSCO mission in their efforts to bring peace and stability to the east of the country.
Concern of the Security Council at the resurgence of attacks
Members of the Security Council also issued swift condemnation of Tuesday’s attack, expressing their deepest condolences to the victim’s family and to Nepal, as well as to the United Nations.
“The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms all attacks and provocations against MONUSCO. They stressed that deliberate attacks targeting peacekeepers can constitute war crimes under international law. Members of the Security Council called on the Congolese authorities to quickly investigate this attack and bring perpetrators to justice, and keep the troop-contributing country concerned informed of progress.
The Council also expressed concern “at the increase in the activities of armed groups in the eastern provincesand once again condemned all armed groups operating in the country. They called on “all actors” to end the violence and their violations and abuses of international human rights and international humanitarian law.
The ambassadors stressed the importance for MONUSCO “to have the necessary capacities to fulfill its mandate and to promote, including by taking additional measures, as appropriate, the safety and security of United Nations peacekeepers and its operations, in accordance with relevant Security Council resolutions”.
Just last week, a helicopter carrying our reconnaissance for MONUSCO crashed over eastern DRC, killing eight peacekeepers and UN observers, six Pakistanis, a Russian and a Serb .
Some reports cited a Congolese army press release, blaming an armed group for shooting down the helicopter.
They had reported on the community’s displacement movements, following armed attacks, in order to coordinate humanitarian aid, according to the news reports.
The UN said last week it was too early to establish the exact cause of the crash, which took place in North Kivu, but confirmed there had been clashes in the days before the crash. incident, between the M23 militia and the Congolese troops on the ground. .