The UN Secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, has condemned the killing of a Tanzanian peacekeeper in strife-ridden eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, by 23 March Movement, M23, rebels on Sunday.
Ban, in a statement by his spokesperson, Martin Nesirky, stated that the peacekeeper came under fire from M23 rebels in the eastern DRC, as the UN Organisation Stabilisation Mission,MONUSCO, supported action was being carried out by Congolese government forces.
MONUSCO is to protect civilians on the Kiwanja-Rutshuru axis, 25km north of Goma, which is the main city in the vast country’s eastern region.
The UN scribe offered his condolences and sympathy to the family of the victim and the government of Tanzania.
Ki – Moon also said the UN would continue to take actions in line with the Security Council resolution to protect civilians in eastern DRC.
He said by a resolution adopted in March, the council approved the creation of its first-ever offensive combat force, intended to carry out targeted operations to neutralise and disarm the M23 as well as other Congolese rebels and foreign armed groups in the east.
On Friday, the UN secretary general’s office said that MONUSCO was on “high alert” following clashes between Congolese government forces and M23 armed combatants.
Similarly on Saturday, MONUSCO chief, Martin Kobler. and special envoy of the secretary-general to the Great Lakes Region, Mary Robinson, jointly expressed their concern about the ongoing violence in eastern DRC.
They urged all parties to exercise maximum restraint and to return to peace talks in Kampala.
In the past year, clashes have continued sporadically throughout the DRC’s eastern region, with rebels briefly occupying Goma in November 2012.
The fighting has displaced more than 100,000 people, exacerbating an ongoing humanitarian crisis which includes 2.6 million internally-displaced persons and 6.4 million in need of food and emergency aid.