Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called for swift action to bring to justice the perpetrators of a deadly attack yesterday against the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), pledging continued support in the battle against rebel forces.
One peacekeeper from Malawi was killed and another wounded during a heavy exchange of fire when the Ugandan rebel Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) attacked a base of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in DRC (MONUSCO) in Makembi in North Kivu province, in the east of the vast country.
Four national Congolese soldiers and a number of civilians were also killed in two other ADF attacks in the area.
“The Secretary-General calls for swift action to bring the perpetrators of these attacks to justice,” a statement from his spokesman said.
“He is extremely concerned by the series of attacks by the ADF in North Kivu, which have already resulted in more than 500 known civilian deaths since October 2014. Such attacks on civilians are a clear violation of international human rights and humanitarian law,” it added, reiterating UN commitment support the DRC authorities in neutralizing the armed groups.
Earlier this month, the UN Security Council today called for the elimination of local and foreign armed groups, including ADF, which have for decades devastated the eastern regions of the DRC, urging the immediate resumption of joint operations between the UN peacekeeping force’s Intervention Brigade and the national army.
In a separate statement, the Council also strongly condemned the attack and called on the Government of the DRC to swiftly investigate the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice.
Underlining that attacks targeting peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law, the Council also strongly condemned the repeated attacks perpetrated against civilians by the ADF in North Kivu. Council members further stressed the utmost importance of neutralizing, once and for all, all armed groups in the DRC and called for the urgent resumption of operations against these groups.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their support to MONUSCO and called on all parties to cooperate fully with the mission and to remain committed to the full and objective implementation of the mission’s mandate.