DR Congo

UN peacekeepers on alert after battling rebel group in eastern province

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Peacekeepers serving with the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) on patrol. © UN Photo/Sylvain Liechti

2 May 2014 – Mayi-Mayi rebels attacked United Nations peacekeepers in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) where the Mission is on alert monitoring and the situation, it was announced today.

“We can confirm the attack and that Mayi-Mayi Janvier is part of the APCLS [Alliance of Patriots for a Free and Sovereign Congo],” a UN spokesperson confirmed to journalists in New York.

In addition, the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) confirmed that the ACPLS attacked DRC Government positions at the commercial district of Birere in the city of Goma, the capital of North Kivu.

“Heavy exchanges of fire were reported,” the spokesperson said, adding that MONUSCO supported the national army (FARDC) to recapture the district.

At least six people were killed and several wounded, including two UN peacekeepers.

Some 4,000 civilians are seeking safety at MONUSCO base in Nyabiondo.

“MONUSCO continues to monitor the situation, including through the use of unarmed aerial surveillance,” journalists were told.

In the past year, the Security Council mandated MONUSCO to use an intervention brigade to neutralize armed groups, reduce the threat they posed to State authority and civilian security and make space for stabilization activities.

In an unanimous resolution adopted by the 15-members last month, the Council renewed the mandate of both MONUSCO and its Intervention Brigade for another year, taking them to take all necessary measures to protect civilians; monitor implementation of the arms embargo; and provide support to national and international judicial processes in the DRC, among other responsibilities.

The Council also demanded that the various Mayi Mayi groups, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the Bakata-Katanga “cease immediately all forms of violence and other destabilizing activities and that their members immediately and permanently disband, lay down their arms and demobilize children from their ranks.”