Secretary-General Kofi Annan today strongly condemned the "appalling and shocking" murder of two United Nations military observers in northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and called on all Congolese parties to "renounce violence and consolidate hard-won peace agreements."
"The Secretary-General is profoundly saddened by the tragic deaths of two military observers," UN spokesman Fred Eckhard said in New York, conveying Mr. Annan's condolences to the families and governments of the nationals of Jordan and Malawi. Their remains were recovered yesterday from Mongwalu, a town 70 kilometres northwest of Bunia, in Ituri. He added that Mr. Annan also regretted the murder of two local Red Cross workers in Bunia last week.
"The Secretary-General strongly condemns these appalling and shocking acts," the spokesman said. "He appeals to all concerned to cooperate with [the UN Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC)] in carrying out the investigations into the exact circumstances of their brutal murder. Those responsible will be held fully accountable for their actions."
Mr. Annan also called on all Congolese parties "to renounce violence and consolidate the hard-won agreements, both at the national level and in Ituri," the spokesman said, and conveyed his appreciation to the courageous men and women of MONUC, who were "selflessly serving the cause of peace in volatile areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo."