RAPAPORT… The United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the killing of a Tanzanian peacekeeper and the wounding of 10 others in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) during an attack against the M23 rebel group in the vast country’s restive eastern province.
The attack occurred in the Kibati heights in North Kivu as the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) supported action by Congolese Armed Forces (FARDC) to protect civilian-populated areas of Goma. The Mission has delivered mortar and artillery fire and engaged its attack helicopters, while the FARDC has used attack helicopters, battle tanks and ground forces. The operation is still ongoing.
Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of MONUSCO, Martin Kobler, also expressed his outrage at the killing of the peacekeeper. “He sacrificed his life to protect civilians in Goma. My thoughts go to his family and all members of his unit in this very difficult moment,” he said.
Over the past year, the M23, along with other armed groups, have clashed repeatedly with the FARDC. The rebels briefly occupied Goma in November 2012. The fighting resumed in recent weeks, this time dragging in a group of Ugandan-based rebels, and displaced more than 100,000 people, exacerbating the region’s ongoing humanitarian crisis, which includes 2.6 million internally displaced persons and 6.4 million in need of food and emergency aid.