The UN Secretary-General António Guterres has strongly condemned the terrorist attack on peacekeepers serving in the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) on 26 July in Butembo, North Kivu province.
A statement released by the UN said that the attack that occurred during a violent demonstration at the Mission’s base led to the death of two Indian police personnel and one Moroccan military personnel and the wounding of one Egyptian police personnel.
According to the statement, the Secretary-General expressed his deepest condolences to the families of the fallen peacekeepers, as well as to the Government and the people of India and of Morocco. He wishes a speedy recovery to the injured peacekeeper.
He also strongly condemns violence targeting multiple United Nations bases across North Kivu province since 25 July, in which individuals and groups forcibly entered bases and engaged in looting and destruction of United Nations property, while also looting and setting fire to the residences of United Nations personnel, the statement noted.
The Secretary-General regrets the loss of life of demonstrators in this context and affirms MONUSCO’s commitment to work with the Congolese authorities to investigate these incidents, it added.
Also in this regard, he recalled the Status of Forces agreement concluded between the United Nations and the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which guarantees the inviolability of United Nations premises.
The statement concluded: “The Secretary-General reaffirms the United Nations’ strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity of the Democratic Republic of Congo and that the United Nations, through his Special Representative in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its Mission mandated by the Security Council, will continue to support the Congolese Government and people in their efforts to bring about peace and stability in the east of the country.”
It’s worth mentioning that the UN Chief stressed that any attack directed against United Nations peacekeepers may constitute a war crime and calls upon the Congolese authorities to investigate these incidents and swiftly bring those responsible to justice.