DR Congo: UN Mission comes under attack, steps up security

Head of MONUSCO, Martin Kobler, comforting a Beni, North Kivu, resident who had several family members killed during recent attacks attributed to ADF rebels, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Photo: MONUSCO

22 October 2014 – The United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, known as MONUSCO, has stepped up its security following several attacks on its bases in North Kivu, including one this morning, when a large number of youths converged on the premises, and another yesterday which required the evacuation of 12 staff members.

According to the Mission, Congolese forces and Mission troops intervened this morning to disperse the crowd throwing stones at the MONUSCO premises at Mavivi Airport in Beni territory, which lies in the vast country’s restive North Kivu province. They have since secured the area.

Also, the Mission also reports that yesterday a Joint patrol of the Congolese Forces (FARDC) and MONUSCO was blocked by a large group of armed civilians near Mbau. Two civilians were reportedly killed and one injured. The Mission is ascertaining the facts about the incident.

The incidents come on the heels of two deadly attacks by suspected Ugandan-based rebels near the town Beni, which began last Wednesday. Mission chief Martin Kobler called for “decisive joint military actions” by the Congolese army and UN peacekeeping troops to end the group's reign of terror.

In a statement issued over the weekend, Mr. Kobler, urged “decisive joint military actions of FARDC [Congolese army] and MONUSCO to start as soon as possible in order to relieve the population from the terror imposed by the ADF [Allied Democratic Forces], once and for all.”

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.

“This sequence of violence, killings, assassinations, and human rights violations in Beni territory needs to stop immediately and I strongly condemn these atrocious acts” added Mr. Kobler, who is also the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the DRC.

Mr. Kobler travelled to Beni on Friday to pay tribute to the families of the victims of these atrocious attacks. While there, he and the Mission's acting Force Commander stressed MONUSCO's full and unwavering determination to neutralize all illegal armed groups in eastern DRC, including the ADF.

Also on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative (SRSG) Martin Kobler congratulated Dr. Denis Mukwege, a Congolese gynaecologist who has been awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought by the European Parliament.

Mr. Kobler said this award shed light on Dr. Mukwege’s fight against sexual violence in the DRC. He added that this Prize underscored the commitment of the international community to support peace and security in the country.

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