The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Ma Zhaoxu (China):
The members of the Security Council strongly condemned the killing of six Malawian and one Tanzanian peacekeepers of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), as well as at least 12 members of the Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo (FARDC) in Beni territory, North Kivu, while carrying out joint operations against the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).
The members of the Security Council expressed their deepest condolences to the families of the soldiers killed, the authorities and people of Malawi, United Republic of Tanzania, Democratic Republic of the Congo and the United Nations. They wished a speedy recovery to the injured. They conveyed their strong support to the Malawian and Tanzanian contingents, which continue to operate in an exceptionally difficult environment to protect local populations against the attacks of the ADF and other armed groups. They praised the bravery of the peacekeepers engaged in this joint operation and paid tribute to those killed in action, who made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of peace and stability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and to their comrades wounded during this operation.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their condemnation of all armed groups active in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They further reiterated their demand that all armed groups cease immediately all forms of violence, and immediately and permanently disband and lay down their arms.
The members of the Security Council underlined that deliberate attacks targeting peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law. They stressed that involvement in planning, directing, sponsoring or conducting attacks against MONUSCO peacekeepers or United Nations personnel constitutes a basis for sanctions designations pursuant to United Nations Security Council resolutions. The members of the Security Council called on the Congolese authorities to swiftly investigate this attack and bring the perpetrators to justice.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their full support for the stabilizing action of MONUSCO and its contingents.