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UN chief condemns attack that leaves at least 14 peacekeepers dead

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At least 14 UN peacekeepers have been killed and 53 wounded in an attack in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A report from the UN’s Monusco mission said the peacekeepers were attacked by suspected rebels of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in North Kivu province, this resulted in protracted fighting between suspected ADF elements and Monusco and FARDC Force.

Five soldiers with the DR Congo’s armed forces (FARDC) were also killed.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described it as the worst attack on UN peacekeepers in recent history.

“I condemn in the strongest terms this deadly attack on United Nations peacekeepers and the FARDC. Attacks against those who are working in the service of peace and stability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are cowardly and constitute serious violations. MONUSCO will take all actions to ensure that the perpetrators are held accountable and brought to justice”  He said

MONUSCO and the FARDC are coordinating a joint response. MONUSCO is also conducting medical evacuations and assessing the security situation in the area.

Mr Guterres expressed “outrage and utter heartbreak” at the attack, and sent his condolences to families of the victims.

Suspected ADF rebels killed two peacekeepers in October, a BBC correspondent in Kinshasa says. Monusco has about 18,000 troops in the country.

Several armed militias are fighting for control of mineral-rich lands in North Kivu and often clash with Congolese troops and UN peacekeepers.

 

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