DR Congo: UN mission deplores attack on civilians in volatile east

13 May 2009

The United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has strongly condemned a deadly attack against civilians and government troops, known as FARDC, which occurred in the eastern town of Busurungi over the weekend.

The mission, known as MONUC, said it sent a team to the scene as soon as it heard of the attack, which reportedly resulted in the death of dozens of civilians. An investigation is underway to identify those responsible for these atrocities, it said in a news release.

Several sources and witnesses on the ground are pointing the finger at the ethnic Hutu rebel group known as the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwandan (FDLR), stated MONUC.

The group has recently been carrying out retaliatory attacks against civilians after being targeted by a joint Congolese and Rwandan military offensive.

The mission said it will do its utmost to help the wounded and provide humanitarian assistance to affected people.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative in the DRC Alan Doss stressed that “the series of recent attacks in recent days against civilians in Mbinga, Butalongola, Bital and now Busurungi clearly demonstrate the need to strengthen the capacity of FARDC in order to ensure the protection of civilians.”

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