Goma (Web Desk): At least 15 United Nations (UN) peacekeepers were killed in the Democratic Republic of Congo during the ‘worst attack’ in the recent history of the organisation, international media reported.
The attack took place in country’s North Kivu province in which the 15 members of UN’s peacekeeping mission, MONUSCO, were killed and over 40 others wounded.
Secretary-General António Guterres said, “I condemn this attack unequivocally. These deliberate attacks against UN peacekeepers are unacceptable and constitute a war crime”.
According to a statement issued by the UN, “Late Thursday, a MONUSCO (the UN Stabilization Mission in the DRC) Company Operating Base at Semuliki in Beni territory, North Kivu, was attacked by suspected Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) elements, resulting in a protracted fighting between the suspected armed group elements and MONUSCO and Armed Forces of the DRC, known by the French acronym, FARDC”.
Further, The UN chief called on the DRC authorities to investigate the incident and swiftly bring the perpetrators to justice. “There must be no impunity for such assaults, here or anywhere else.”
In his remarks, he also said that the attack is another indication of the challenges faced by UN peacekeeping operations around the world and acknowledged the 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,” he noted, offering condolences to the families and loved ones of those killed and a speedy recovery to those injured.
The UN Security Council condemned the attack in strong words.
“There can be no impunity for such acts,” stressed the 15-member Council, calling upon the Government of the DRC to ensure that the perpetrators of such attacks are swiftly brought to justice.
In the statement, the Security Council also reiterated their full support to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the DRC and to MONUSCO to fully implement their mandate.