Following are UN Secretary‑General António Guterres’ remarks on the attack on peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in New York today:
I want to express my outrage and utter heartbreak at last night’s attack on United Nations peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Early indications from the site of the attack in North Kivu indicate that at least 12 Tanzanian peacekeepers were killed, and at least 40 injured, four of them critically. We also understand that at least five members of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo were killed.
I offer my deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims, and to the Government and people of [the United Republic of] Tanzania. I wish a speedy recovery to all those injured.
I condemn this attack unequivocally. These deliberate attacks against United Nations peacekeepers are unacceptable and constitute a war crime. I call on the Democratic Republic of the Congo authorities to investigate this incident and swiftly bring the perpetrators to justice. There must be no impunity for such assaults, here or anywhere else.
Military reinforcements have arrived on the scene. The Force Commander is there, as well, coordinating the Mission’s response. The medical evacuation of casualties is ongoing.
This is the worst attack on United Nations peacekeepers in the Organization’s recent history. It is another indication of the enormous sacrifices made by troop-contributing countries in the service of global peace. These brave women and men are putting their lives on the line every day across the world to serve peace and to protect civilians.
The situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is one of the emergencies we are highlighting in today’s appeal for the Central Emergency Response Fund. This latest attack highlights the urgency of helping people in need and addressing the volatile situation.