DR Congo

DR Congo/North Kivu: MONUC condemns attack on UN convoy

The UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, MONUC, has condemned in the strongest terms an attack by elements from the Congrès national pour la défense du peuple (CNDP, National Congress for the Defence of People) on a convoy of United Nations forces as they were maintaining security for civilians along the road link between Goma and Rutshuru. Five rockets were fired on two UN armoured personnel carriers that were part of the convoy of MONUC Blue Helmets near Kalengera. The United Nations is trying to maintain peace in North Kivu.

Many internally displaced persons have been arriving in Goma fleeing areas where clashes are reported. MONUC helicopters, in support of the Congolese national army's military operations, opened fire on CNDP positions near Kibunda, which lies about 20 kilometres north of Goma. MONUC reiterates that under its mandate, it will continue to intervene with all of its means to ensure the protection of civilians and to protect the urban centres of North Kivu.

In Goma, several hundred demonstrators attacked the MONUC compound on Monday throwing stones at vehicles and destroying United Nations property.

Elements of the Congolese National Police and MONUC Blue Helmets intervened to prevent the protesters from entering MONUC premises. One civilian was killed during these violent demonstrations.

In a statement, MONUC reiterated that it is in the DRC to help restore peace, and called on the population not to take out its anger on UN personnel and property. MONUC also called on all parties involved in the current hostilities to respect the safety and security of civilians as required by international humanitarian law.