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Civilians, peacekeepers killed in rising DRC militancy

Story from: CAJ News Africa

DRC militancyFrom JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – THE United Nations mission in Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) has reinforced after armed groups killed some 20 civilians, two Tanzanian peace keepers and threatened to overrun a military base.
The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) carried out the deadly attack in the MONUSCO position in Mamundioma in the eastern North Kivu Province.
Some 18 peacekeepers have been evacuated to the provincial capital Goma for medical assistance.
The UN mission said it had repelled the militants and immediately deployed reinforcements, including a Quick Reaction Force and attack helicopters.
This is to secure the location, ensure freedom of movement for civilians and protect the nearby Kamango and Mbau villages from further attacks.
Maman Sidikou, head of MONUSCO, lamented the region had already suffered widespread violence already, including massacres of civilians.
“I reiterate to all these armed groups who continue to threaten and kill civilians, MONUSCO will respond strongly,” Sidikou said.
Mamundioma, some 1 700 kilometres east of the capital Kinshasa, was also the site of an attack on UN peacekeepers last month in which another UN peacekeeper from Tanzania was killed and another injured.
António Guterres, UN Secretary-General, condemned series of attacks. He warned perpetrators that the attacks targeting peacekeepers might constitute war crimes under international law.
Guterres urged authorities to investigate the incidents and bring the perpetrators to justice.
The beleaguered government of President Joseph Kabila faced legitimacy questions after he stayed in power despite the lapse of his term late 2016.
He is also facing protests from civilians.
Thousands have fled the ensuing bloodshed to neighbouring countries.
CAJ News

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