19 November 2012

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Secretary-General Condemns M23 Attacks on Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo,

Calls on All Stakeholders to ‘Use Their Influence’ on Rebels, End Violence

The following statement was issued on 18 November by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:

The Secretary-General strongly condemns the resumption of hostilities by the M23 [Mouvement du 23 mars] in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.  He calls on the M23 to immediately cease its attacks and any further military advances towards the city of Goma in North Kivu.  The Secretary-General calls on all relevant States to use their influence on the M23 to bring about an immediate end to the attacks.

The Secretary-General is deeply concerned by the devastating humanitarian consequences of the fighting that has led to the displacement of at least 60,000 people, many of whom are fleeing towards Goma.  The Secretary-General strongly condemns the grave violations of international humanitarian and human rights law by the M23, and calls on all parties to allow safe, timely and unhindered humanitarian access to those in need.

The Secretary-General emphasizes his personal commitment to supporting efforts to resolve the crisis and encourages enhanced dialogue between the relevant parties towards this end.

The Secretary-General underlines that MONUSCO [United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo] will remain present in Goma and will continue all efforts to robustly implement its mandate to the fullest of its capabilities with regard to the protection of civilians. He emphasises that any actions to undermine or target MONUSCO will not be tolerated.

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For information media • not an official record