UNITED NATIONS, May 14 : The Security Council has condemned “in the strongest terms” Monday’s mob attacks on a UN peacekeeping unit in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that resulted in serious injuries to at least 11 Pakistani soldiers, and called on the Congolese government to bring the perpetrators to justice.
In a press statement, the 15-nation Council expressed sympathy to those who were wounded in the attacks and to the Government of Pakistan, as it voiced “serious concern” over the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in Bunyakiri, South Kivu.
The Security Council met at the request of Pakistan soon after reports that a 1,000-strong crowd surrounded the Pakistani unit of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) and opened fire. Seven Pakistan peacekeepers received bullet wounds while four others were hurt by pelting of stones. he injured were being treated at a hospital.
The press statement was read out by Ambassador Agshin Mehdiyev of Azerbaijan, which hold the presidency of the Security Council for the month of May. Asked who was behind the attacks, he said he did not have more details.
Ambassador Mehdiyev said the Security Council members “encouraged the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to ensure that the perpetrators of the attacks are brought to justice swiftly.
“The members of the Security Council reiterated their full support for MONUSCO and demanded that all parties cooperate fully with the operations of MONUSCO,” he added.
Earlier, UN Spokesman Martin Nesirky said the crowd was apparently protesting against attacks in the region carried out by Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda rebels.
The UN mission in DR Congo reported that “elements” of a Mai-Mai group, the Rai Mutomboki, “may have been part of the protest and may have fired on the peacekeepers,” Nesirky said. The Rai Mutomboki are an armed self-defence group.
“The mission is monitoring the situation and has sent reinforcements to the area, which is now reportedly calm but tense,” the UN spokesman said.
Sources: MGCT, UN By Iftikhar Ali
- Seven Pakistani peacekeepers wounded in DR Congo: UN (dawn.com)
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- Security Council Press Statement on Democratic Republic of the Congo (appablog.wordpress.com)
- International Criminal Court brings charges against Congo warlord (rawstory.com)
- DR Congo: Clashes On Border With Rwanda (eurasiareview.com)