Visiting the site of a recent flare-up of deadly violence in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), United Nations and African Union (AU) envoys met with the Mayor of the town of Beni, Congolese military officials and local leaders, urging a united front to “put an end to the terror imposed on the population by armed groups,” including Ugandan-based rebels operating in the area.
Martin Kobler, head of the UN stabilization mission in the country, known by its French acronym, MONUSCO, Saïd Djinnit, UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region, and Boubacar Diarra, AU Special Representative for Burundi and the Great Lakes region, reiterated that only united action by the Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC), MONUSCO and the population would the armed groups be successfully reigned in.
According to a press release, the envoys had meetings with the mayor of Beni, FARDC officials and the local population. They stated their assurance in the determination of the FARDC and MONUSCO to end, once and for all, the threat posed by the Ugandan rebel group in Beni territory.
They stressed that the confidence and support of all stakeholders involved to the FARDC and MONUSCO is essential for the success of joint operations. They appealed to the population to unite and cooperate with all actors in eliminating the authors of these terrorist acts.
Nearly a week ago, Mr. Kobler called for “decisive joint military actions” by the Congolese army and UN peacekeeping troops in the wake of two deadly attacks by suspected to quell the activities of suspected Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels near the town Beni.
Around two dozen of people in Eringeti, North of Beni were killed by suspected ADF elements in the night between 17 and 18 October, the Mission says. This follows an incident in the early evening of 15 October, when a group of assailants presumed to belong to the ADF attacked the Ngadi and Kadu localities in Beni area leading to the death of more than two dozen people.
Earlier this week, MONUSCO stepped up its security following several attacks on its bases in Beni, including when a large number of youths converged on the premises, and another which required the evacuation of 12 staff members.