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Southern African peacekeeper killed right after helicopter comes under fire mid-flight in DR Congo

In the statement  issued by his Spokesperson , UN Secretary-General  António Guterres strongly condemned the attack, which left the South African ‘blue helmet’ dead, and another wounded.

Emergency landing

Nyiranzaba plus her nine children get refuge in a tent right after fleeing her village in Rutshuru territory, North Kivu province, DR Congo. There is no indication up to now who was responsible for the attack , or what weapon was used in the assault. In his declaration, Mr. Guterres expressed their deepest condolences to the family of the fallen peacekeeper, and also to the Government and people of South Africa, wishing a speedy recovery to the injured following the spectacular helicopter landing. Eastern DRC is home to several armed groups, including the rebel M23 force, which has been combating a major campaign against Federal government troops in recent months, supported by UN mission there, known by its French acronym MONUSCO, as part of its protection-of-civilians mandate. “The Secretary-General reaffirms that the United Nations, through his Particular Representative in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, will continue to support the Congolese Government and people ”, the statement continued, “in their efforts to create about peace and balance in the east of the nation. ”

Call for immediate ceasefire

At a summit from the East African Community on Saturday in Burundi, local leaders renewed their demand an immediate ceasefire by combatants involved in eastern DRC. Kinshasa has accused the Rwandan Government of supporting the M23 rebels, a cost categorically denied by government bodies in Kigali. According to news reports, the severely injured peacekeeper could continue flying, and along with the rest of the crew, managed to land at the airport of the provincial capital, Goma. Hundreds of civilians have been killed   during the violence at the hands of armed groups, including women and kids. © UNICEF/Arlette Bashizi

Nyiranzaba and her nine children take refuge in a tent after fleeing her village in Rutshuru territory, North Kivu province, DR Congo.
Last March, eight peacekeepers were killed when their particular helicopter crashed in an area of North Kivu province in which the Congolese army was engaged in heavy fighting with M23.

He recalled that such attacks against peacekeepers ” might constitute a war crime under international law . ” He asked Congolese authorities to investigate the heinous attack, and bring individuals responsible to justice as quickly as possible.

Guterres pledges ongoing support

More than 500, 1000 have reportedly been displaced by intense fighting within the province since last 03, and earlier in the 7 days, Pope Francis made their first visit to DRC contacting for an end to violence. An agreement signed in Nov when rebels agreed to pull away, failed to come to fruition. The head of MONUSCO, and Unique Representative to DRC, Bintou Keita, briefed the Security Council in December, telling ambassadors that the security situation acquired “ deteriorated significantly ” in prior weeks. M23 has seized many areas of Northern Kivu province in eastern DRC since last Oct, threatening to advance on the provincial capital.


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