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DR Congo: UN mission helps in rescue efforts after deadly airplane crash

DR Congo: UN mission helps in rescue efforts after deadly airplane crash

The United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is taking part in rescue operations after a commercial aircraft crashed into a residential area of the capital, Kinshasa, earlier today.

The mission, known as MONUC, reports that 25 people were killed in the crash and many others have been injured.

UN spokesperson Michele Montas said MONUC has provided fire-fighting equipment and has also helped evacuate victims from the crash site, while UN photographers are documenting the extent of the damage.

She said UN humanitarian agencies also remain at the scene to provide further assistance to Congolese authorities, who are launching an investigation into the accident.

Meanwhile, MONUC issued a statement today condemning Sunday’s arrest and the subsequent treatment of three magistrates by soldiers operating under the command of a regional military commander in the city of Kisangani.

The three men were beaten violently when arrested at their homes and, while one was able to escape, the other two were held at a military centre overnight and treated so badly that they had to seek hospital care.

In the statement the Mission called for an investigation into the commander, General Jean-Claude Kifwa, and his subordinates, and demanded their immediate suspension. The statement also called for Congolese authorities to take all measures to guarantee independent justice in the country, which is trying to rebuild after a brutal civil war.