Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed his condolences following the death of a United Nations peacekeeper who was wounded last month during clashes in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The peacekeeper was among several who were wounded when the rebel group known as the M23 directed artillery fire on a UN position close to Kibati heights, 15 kilometres north of the North Kivu capital of Goma.
He is the second Tanzanian peacekeeper to die as a result of the 28 August attack, which occurred as the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) supported action by Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC) to protect civilian-populated areas of Goma.
“The Secretary-General condemns in the strongest terms the killing and wounding of MONUSCO peacekeepers,” his spokesperson said in a statement. “He offers his sincere condolences and sympathy to the family of the victims, and to the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania.”
The UN remains committed to taking all necessary actions in line with the mandate given by the Security Council to protect civilians in eastern DRC, the statement added.
Over the past year, the M23, along with other armed groups, have clashed repeatedly with the FARDC. The rebels briefly occupied Goma in November 2012.
The fighting resumed in recent months, this time dragging in a group of Ugandan-based rebels, and displaced more than 100,000 people, exacerbating the region’s ongoing humanitarian crisis, which includes 2.6 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) and 6.4 million in need of food and emergency aid.