29 December 2005 In the face of deadly clashes between United Nations peacekeepers and armed rebel groups in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Secretary-General Kofi Annan today reaffirmed the UN’s determination to work closely with the Congolese authorities in restoring peace in the region.
The means to that goal will be political engagement and military pressure on all those obstructing the peace process, according to a statement released by a spokesman for Mr. Annan.
“The Secretary-General was deeply saddened to learn of the death of an Indian peacekeeper and the injury of four others serving with the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” the spokesman added.
Mr. Annan extended his deepest sympathy and condolences to the Government of India and to the families of the victims, the statement said.
The peacekeeper, who died Sunday, was one of 1,000 UN forces supporting about 4,000 national Armed Forces of DRC (FARDC) troops, who have been conducting operations against armed rebel groups in the Ituri region to restore the authority of the Congolese State. One of the four wounded peacekeepers is in serious condition.