The Security Council today condemned “in the strongest terms” the attacks by M23 rebels against the United Nations Mission in North Kivu in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), resulting in the death of a Tanzanian peacekeeper.
In a statement to the press, the members of the Security Council expressed their condolences to the family of the peacekeeper killed in the attack, as well as to the Government of Tanzania and to the UN mission, known by the French acronym, MONUSCO.
Council members also called on the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo swiftly to investigate the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice.
“They also expressed their condolences for the loss of civilian lives in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and in Rwanda following shells landing on its territory,” the statement says, stressing that the members of the Council reiterated their full support for MONUSCO and called on all parties to cooperate fully with the mission.
The Council in its statement echoes a similar expression of condemnation by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who yesterday pledged the Organization's ongoing commitment to take “all necessary actions” to protect civilians in the country.
According to UN chief’s statement, the attacks occurred as MONUSCO supported action being carried out by Congolese Government Forces (FARDC) to protect civilians on the Kiwanja-Rutshuru axis, 25 kilometres north of Goma, which the main city in the vast country's eastern region.
Further to the statement, Mr. Ban said the UN remains committed to taking all necessary actions in line with Security Council resolution 2098 (2013) to protect civilians in eastern DRC.
By that resolution, adopted in late March, the Council approved the creation of its first-ever “offensive” combat force, intended to carry out targeted operations to “neutralize and disarm” the notorious M23, as well as other Congolese rebels and foreign armed groups in the east.
In the past year, clashes have continued sporadically throughout the DRC's eastern region, with rebels briefly occupying Goma, in November 2012. The fighting has displaced more than 100,000 people, exacerbating an ongoing humanitarian crisis in the region which includes 2.6 million internally displaced persons and 6.4 million in need of food and emergency aid.